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Muhammad Ali: The Mission

In 2013, our old friends at Grantland released a 30-for-30 documentary on a little-remembered moment in the life of Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday at age 74. The film, made by Amani Martin and narrated by John Legend, recounts the story of Ali’s 1990 trip to Iraq before the Gulf War, during which he negotiated with Saddam Hussein for the release of American citizens taken hostage after the invasion of Kuwait. Ali risked his reputation, health and safety for the freedom of prisoners held by Hussein as “human shields” to deter U.S. military strikes. Only six weeks after Ali brought 15 hostages back home to their relieved families, Operation Desert Storm bombarded Iraq.

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