Donald Trump Pardons Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Forgiveness was a long time coming for ‘The Galveston GIant’, Jack Johnson.
“Maybe one day someone will do something good for me!” noted Johnson in 1945 before fighting an exhibition against Joe Jeanette for U.S. War Bonds in 1945. Charged with violating The Mann Act for transporting white women across state lines, the charges against Willard were always a sham. Johnson eventually did one year in prison after returning to the United States from Europe after losing his crown to Jess Willard.
President Donald Trump signed the posthumous pardon of Jack Johnson with former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, Deontay Wilder and Sylvester Stallone AKA Rocky Balboa looking on. Trump did what Obama would not do, that is to free the soul and spirit of the legendary Jack Johnson once and for all. Johnson did nothing wrong, only society of the time a century ago did not approve of his living the lifestyle he chose, free from criticism and public scrutiny. It was a pardon well deserved, long overdue and long denied. Johnson’s only crime was that he was black, in an era where racial equality after the American Civil War still had a long war to go. It would take the Civil Rights movement, and the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King before Lyndon Johnson signed Civil Rights legislation guaranteeing racial equality. Johnson died in a car accident in 1946. It would take another 72 years to solve the Johnson puzzle. Today, nobody has any issue with Johnson. Like Joe Louis, Johnson had to endure the bigotry of the time, and a society less than willing to accept a black world heavyweight champion, who dared to live his life as a real person in defiance of the accepted behavior of his time.
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