Republican Senator John McCain, known as a huge boxing fan, wants a pardon for boxing great Jack Johnson. The late black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, was sent to prison nearly a century ago because of his romantic ties with a white woman.
Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion in 1908 – 100 years before Obama was elected the nation’s first black president. Johnson was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes.
Senator McCain at the White House said, “Jack Johnson was one of the great athletes in history. He was done a gross mis justice and he should be pardoned because he was not guilty of anything expect a victim of racism.” McCain is hopeful the House will follow the Senate’s lead. The Senate approved the resolution by voice vote Wednesday. When asked about the pardon resolution, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs admitted he was not familiar with the issue.