Donald Trump considers pardoning Jack Johnson after Sylvester Stallone request

23 April, 2018, 21:56 | Author: Ann Santiago
  • President Trump said he is considering a pardon for boxer Jack Johnson

Trump says he was prompted to pardon Johnson after receiving a call from Sylvester Stallone. His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial.

Johnson, the first black heavyweight world champion in 1908, was arrested in 1913 and charged with transporting a prostitute across state lines.

While Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) has had a posthumous pardon of Johnson (the boxer died in 1946 in a auto crash) on his to-do list for years, and McCain was actually joined by Sen.

President Trump looks set to grant a posthumous pardon to a champion black boxer after learning - thanks to Sylvester Stallone - how his career was wrecked by racism.

His fight with James Jeffries in 1910 is widely regarded as the "Fight of the Century". While Jeffries humbly admitted his defeat, Johnson's win enraged white boxing fans.

In 2010, the British world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis told the Guardian that though Muhammad Ali's "contribution was profound, Jack Johnson's was the first".

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"Johnson knocked out Frank Owens... in the last round of a six round bout, and after a few minutes intermission took on a fresh opponent", the newspaper said.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted that he had just learned about Johnson from an actor famous for playing a fictional - white - boxer. Johnson skipped bail and fled the country, living in exile, before ultimately surrendering and returning to serve his one-year sentence.

Posthumous pardons are rare, but not unprecedented.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been calling to get a pardon for Johnson since 2004, and criticized President Obama for departing office at 2017 without needing granted you. Harry Reid (D-NV) pushed then-President Barack Obama to pardon Johnson in 2016 on the 70th anniversary of his death.

Haywood said she was optimistic that Trump would follow through, but she was trying to keep her excitement at bay until she knew for a fact that he would give Johnson the pardon. President Bill Clinton pardoned Henry O. Flipper, the first African-American officer to lead the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War; he was framed for embezzlement.

Nicknamed "the Galveston Giant", Johnson was the son of former slaves and the third of nine children.


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