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John Legend Slams Piers Morgan For Muhammad Ali Criticism

Wife comes to his defense, too.

Lionel Urman // Splash News/Corbis

We've heard it before: If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. But when it comes to public figures and pundits looking for ratings, or simply attention, the old adage doesn't seem to apply.

Just two days after Muhammad Ali's death, journalist and former CNN host Piers Morgan took to Twitter to denounce the fervor and fandom he saw the late boxing legend receiving.

Using a link to a video of Ali's 1971 appearance on the British television talk show Parkinson, in which the star expresses opinions against racial integration, Morgan said, "Here's #MuhammadAli saying very inflammatory/racist things. Why all the faux outrage? He did a lot."

Morgan added, "I hope people don't make me sound too perfect when I die. No coats of sugar please."

Singer John Legend took no time coming to the defense of Ali, challenging Morgan's request with: "You could test us by announcing your retirement." Legend's wife Chrissy Teigen showed support too, responding to her husband with: "From what? trolling isn't a job (I've tried)."

Morgan eventually backed down, writing in an op-ed for Daily Mail, "I didn’t intend to disrespect Ali with my tweet, as many claimed. Why would I when just 24 hours earlier I had written a heartfelt tribute to him as the greatest superstar icon of my lifetime? But I did intend to offer the anti-Trump brigade some historical perspective about their own hero as they vented their collective spleen."

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