President Trump suddenly sent out a statement on Twitter Saturday afternoon, announcing he’s considering a full posthumous pardon for Jack Johnson, the first black boxing heavyweight champion of the word.
Trump said a call from Sylvester Stallone has prompted him to consider issuing the pardon.
Johnson’s family has been trying to get a pardon issued for years, first requesting the pardon from former President George W. Bush, then former President Barack Obama, but the pardon was not granted from either administration.
In February, the Daily Mail reported that Johnson’s family has now turned to President Trump.
More than 100 years after boxing legend Jack Johnson was charged with bringing a woman over state lines for ‘immoral’ purposes, his family seeks a posthumous pardon from President Donald Trump.
His great-great niece, 61-year-old Linda E Haywood, has been looking for vindication since George W. Bush was in office and even has the backing of Senator John McCain.
‘Jack Johnson was a boxing legend and pioneer whose career and reputation were ruined by a racially charged conviction more than a century ago,’ McCain said in a statement to The Associated Press. He has been in support of the pardon since 2004.
‘Johnson’s imprisonment forced him into the shadows of bigotry and prejudice, and continues to stand as a stain on our national honor.’
Trump tweeted on Saturday: “Sylvester Stallone called me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial. Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!”
Sylvester Stallone called me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial. Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
Twitter users have already started responding, some praising Trump’s sudden attention to the matter, while others are protesting that he’s giving a nod to Stallone, when they say this is a pardon that Sen. John McCain has been fighting for for years.
In 2008, a bill asking President George W. Bush for to pardon Jack Johnson “was passed by the House of Representatives, but failed in the Senate. Similar legislation finally made it through Congress in 2009, and then again late last year.” https://t.co/vwLX4TBEPo
— Beatrice-Elizabeth Peterson (@MissBeaE) April 21, 2018
— Phil Elliott (@Philip_Elliott) April 21, 2018
America is so unhinged that ‘liberals’ are mocking or opposing a pardon of Jack Johnson, the great black heavyweight champion, who was victimized by racism in the Jim Crow era. Literally framed for a crime that never happened. https://t.co/0vMGCRBI0O https://t.co/GlxJvOBgst
— David Torske (@DavidTorske) April 21, 2018
Bravo @realDonaldTrump on considering to pardon Jack Johnson – first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915). I hope Sylvester Stallone produces a film on Jack Johnson. A story that needs to be told in cinema. https://t.co/fLkgNBZnRQ
— Mary Millben (@MaryMillben) April 21, 2018
THIS is why @realDonaldTrump what pardon Jack Johnson. Can you imagine going to federal prison for marrying a white woman? I would be very happy if you would do this! And to your Democrats and Republicans why did it take so long? pic.twitter.com/yG5l93r4R4
— BROTHER LAKE (@jamesplake721) April 21, 2018