President Obama will not attend Muhammad Ali’s funeral

Wednesday June 8th, 2016

Your teams. Your favorite writers. Wherever you want them. Personalize SI with our new App. Install on iOS or Android.​

President Barack Obama will not attend Muhammad Ali’s public funeral on Friday due to a conflict with his daughter Malia’s graduation, the White House confirmed Tuesday.

The memorial service in Ali’s hometown of Louisville is expected to draw up to 15,000 people, including international leaders like Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Abdullah of Jordan.

Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are sending a letter that will be read by White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett at the memorial service.

Former President Bill Clinton will be among those giving eulogies, while actor Will Smith and former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis will be pallbearers.

Muhammad Ali featured on historic dual Sports Illustrated covers

Ali passed away last Friday at the age of 74. 

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.