Washington: US President Donald Trump issued a posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion, who was sent to prison a century ago in a racially charged case. Trump on Thusday said Johnson, the “Galveston Giant,” was the victim of what “many viewed as a racially motivated injustice.” Johnson, who held the heavyweight title from 1908-15, was convicted by an all-white jury in 1913 of taking a woman across state lines for “immoral purposes.” Johnson, whose consensual relationship with a white woman was seen then by many as taboo, fled to Europe but returned in 1920 and spent a year in prison. Johnson died in a car crash in 1946 at the age of 68. Trump signed the pardon at a ceremony in the Oval Office attended by “Rocky” actor Sylvester Stallone, current WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and former champion Lennox Lewis. “Today as president, I’ve issued an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon, posthumously to John Arthur Jack Johnson,” Trump said. “The first African American heavyweight champion of the world, a truly great fighter.” Trump said the conviction “occurred during a period of tremendous racial tension in the United States more than a century… Read full this story
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