A brief history of Donald Trump and Muhammad Ali

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump received the 2007 Muhammad Ali Award from Muhammad Ali
  • "Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about," Trump tweeted

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump on Saturday was quick to praise sports icon Muhammad Ali following his passing, which ended a relationship between the two that spanned decades.

"Muhammad Ali is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all," Trump tweeted.
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    rump also took to Instagram to showcase two photos of himself with the boxing legend.

    #MuhammadAli is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all! #RIP

    A photo posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

    That cordiality is a far cry from December, when Ali tore into Trump's plan to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
    "We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda," Ali said in a statement to NBC News. "They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody."
    "Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people's views on what Islam really is," Ali added.
    Just days earlier, Trump had raised eyebrows with his response to a speech by President Barack Obama on the San Bernardino terrorist attack, in particular Obama's assertion that Muslims are "our neighbors, our co-workers, our sports heroes."
    "Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who? Is Obama profiling," Trump tweeted, apparently forgetting about Ali, perhaps the most famous Muslim public figure in America.
    Some of the earliest public interactions between the two were connected to charity. Trump presented Ali with the United Cerebral Palsy Humanitarian Award in 2001.

    #TBT With my friend @muhammadali

    A photo posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

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    nd the now-presumptive Republican nominee received the 2007 Muhammad Ali Award at Celebrity Fight Night XIII, an annual fundraiser for Phoenix-based charities.