Legendary boxer, Jack Johnson, could get pardon from Trump in historic case


Johnson's great-great niece has also pressed Trump for a pardon.

Trump, spurred by a phone call from Sylvester Stallone, tweeted Saturday that he's thinking about posthumously pardoning the trailblazing fighter.

Trump announced Saturday on Twitter that the actor Sylvester Stallone, a friend of his, had called to bring Johnson's story to his attention. "Others've looked at this on time, many presumed it would be performed, but yes, I am considering that a Full Pardon!"

In 1912, he was arrested for violating the Mann Act, which outlawed the transportation of women across state lines for "immoral purposes".

The son of former slaves, Johnson became the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion in 1908 and his dominance of the sport infuriated racist whites. The champion later spent one year in prison for transporting a white woman across state lines, in a case that was largely seen to be racially motivated.

Johnson died in a vehicle crash in North Carolina in 1946, at the age of 68. He skipped bail and fled to Europe, but served nearly a year behind bars when he returned to the U.S.in 1920.

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If pardoned, Johnson would join former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of racially profiling Latinos; Kristian Saucier, a sailor convicted of taking photos in a restricted area of a submarine; and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a Bush aide convicted of leaking the name of a Central Intelligence Agency agent, as a recipient of a Trump pardon. Coined the "Fight of the Century", Jeffries lost to Johnson on July 4, 1910, in Reno, Nevada, after 15 rounds.

In 2017, the Telegraph said he was the third-best boxer of all-time. He served about a year in federal prison and was released in 1921. He died in 1946. "He's not going to know", Haywood, 62, said.

Since the turn of the century, a campaign for a posthumous pardon has gathered pace. Johnson was black, his girlfriend was white.

Once, she recalled, she asked her mother about Johnson. In 1999, President Bill Clinton pardoned Henry O. Flipper, the first African-American officer to graduate from West Point in 1877, after being unjustly accused of embezzlement.

"Jack Johnson is a boxing and pioneer whose reputation was wrongly tarnished by a racially motivated conviction more than a century ago,"McCain said past year".

Since entering office, the president has issued three other pardons, some of them controversial.