Trump pardons heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson posthumously
25 May, 2018, 11:58 | Author: Arnold Perez
"It's about time", Trump said during an Oval Office ceremony, where he was joined by boxer Lennox Lewis and actor Sylvester Stallone, who has drawn awareness to Johnson's cause. "It's my honor to do it".
Johnson was charged due to racially motivated injustice, Trump said and hopes this pardon will help "to correct a wrong in our history", ABC News reported.
In 1946, he died in a auto crash. Jeffries, a former champion who had been in retirement, took up that challenge. A few months earlier, Hart had beaten Johnson in a 20-round decision, one of several nontitle bouts Johnson had with white boxers.
"To be able to be here at the Oval office in Washington, D.C., and to experience the ultimate pardon of Jack Johnson is wonderful", said Wilder, who also visited the White House as a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist. "I'm able to say that I was there when they pardoned Jack Johnson". I couldn't have hit him. "No, I couldn't have reached him in 1000 years".
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The son of former slaves, Jack Johnson, seen in this 1932 file photo, was convicted in 1913 by an all-white jury for travelling with his white girlfriend across state lines in violation of the Mann Act. After a white woman, who Johnson previously dated, testified against him in 1913, Johnson and his wife fled the country to escape his conviction. However, Johnson returned in 1920 to serve his sentence.
He took the heavyweight title on December 26, 1908 in Sydney, Australia, when police stopped his fight against Tommy Burns in the 14th round after Johnson had beaten the Canadian into submission. He lost his title to boxer Jess Willard in 1915, and in 1920, he returned to the US and served less than a year in prison.
Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, also has been pushing for a pardon for the boxing champion since 2004.
"This action finally rights a historical wrong, restores a great athlete's legacy & closes a shameful chapter in our history", McCain said in a tweet. Then-Senator Harry Reid, Senator John McCain, and Representatives Peter King and Gregory Meeks all petitioned Barack Obama's White House administration for the pardon.
Mr Trump had said he was considering pardoning Johnson back in April, after Mr Stallone brought the case to his attention.
A former Obama White House staffer, asked why the previous president never issued the pardon, said Obama's White House diligently adhered to DOJ practices, and their practice was not to focus on posthumous pardons to focus on lives that could actually be affected by a pardon.
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