New Jack, Old Jack: Will Obama Posthumously Pardon Ex-Champ?

White House mum on whether or not the president will pardon boxer Jack Johnson...

Posted:
 
jack_johnson

His first crime? Beating down white boxers.

His worst crime? Daring to have a sexual relationship with a white woman.

Such is the saga of Jack Johnson, former heavyweight champion who, in 1913, was jailed for ten months for violating the Mann Act, which prohibited the transportation of women across state lines for "immoral purposes."

As you're hopefully aware, Johnson was the victim of outlandish bigotry and members of the Congress and Senate want to right that wrong. In an initiative spearheaded by John McCain and Peter King, both Houses have passed a resolution to pardon the former champion.

Now the decision lies with President Obama and the White House isn't showing their hand in this regard.

...Doesn't Obama kinda sorta have to toss a pardon Johnson's way. Sure, he can be deliberate about it but...come on.

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.