Trump Considering Pardon For First Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion

Johnson. President Donald Trump says he's considering

A relative of Jack Johnson has also been leading an effort to get Trump to grant a pardon, the Associated Press reported.

Trump mentioned he acquired a telephone name from "Rocky" actor Sylvester Stallone, who instructed him about Johnson's life story.

Boxer Jack Johnson may receive a pardon from Donald Trump.

"[Johnson's] trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial", Trump tweeted. "Others have checked out this through the years, most thought it could be carried out, however sure, I'm contemplating a Full Pardon!"

In 1913, Johnson, who was black, was convicted by an all-white jury with violating the Mann Act after transporting a white woman he was dating across state lines for "immoral purposes".

Johnson became the first black heavyweight world champion in 1908, but was better known for defeating Jim Jeffries in 1910.

Johnson was convicted for accompanying a white woman across state lines, at a time when whites and blacks were forbidden to mix. John McCain - petitioned President Barack Obama to give Johnson a pardon on the 70th anniversary of the boxer's death.


Johnson was so masterful as a boxer that his story was reimagined in a play called "The Great White Hope", starring James Earl Jones.

As the Ken Burns documentary, Unforgivable Blackness, noted, "For more than 13 years, Jack Johnson was the most famous, and the most notorious, African-American on Earth". He managed to escape and flee to Europe (like Roman Polanski, but for a much like horrifying crime), before returning to America in 1920 to face the music and serve his sentence in prison.

After his release, Johnson reportedly continued fighting well into his sixties but was killed in a auto crash in 1946 at the age of 68. He died in 1946.

In 2016, a bipartisan group of lawmakers - headed by former Sen.

Activists and family members have long advocated for Johnson's posthumous pardon, as have US officials like Sen. Harry Reid and Sen.

Campaigns for posthumous pardons have been in motion since the turn of the century, but have not found much success. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) reintroduced laws urging a posthumous pardon.

"Despite this resolution passing both chambers of Congress several times in recent years, no pardon has been issued to date", McCain said in a statement at the time. A search was launched for a "Great White Hope" who could beat him in the ring, but in vain.

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