According to Kerala sports minister, boxing legend Muhammad Ali was "an eminent sports personality of Kerala and is one who has won a gold medal, thereby raising Kerala's position in the world". EP Jayarajan, who recently took over charge of the ministry, made the comments when he was approached for reactions by a local news channel following Ali's death on Saturday, reported IANS.

The senior CPI(M) leader started out saying, "I just heard the news that Muhammad Ali passed away in America." He had more to add to his statement, when the news crew took a wise call and cut off the audio, saving the minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet from further embarrassment. The minister's faux pas kept the social media circles buzzing.