Late boxing great earns par­don

The Weekend Post - - World -

US PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump yes­ter­day granted a post­hu­mous par­don to boxing’s first black heavy­weight cham­pion, clear­ing Jack John­son’s name more than 100 years af­ter what many see as his racially charged con­vic­tion.

“I am tak­ing this very right­eous step, I be­lieve, to cor­rect a wrong that oc­curred in our his­tory and to hon­our a truly leg­endary boxing cham­pion,” Mr Trump said dur­ing an Oval Of­fice cer­e­mony.

He was joined by WBC heavy­weight cham­pion Deon­tay Wilder, re­tired heavy­weight ti­tle­holder Len­nox Lewis and ac­tor Sylvester Stal- lone, whom Trump cred­ited with cham­pi­oning the par­don.

Mr Trump said John­son had served 10 months in prison “for what many view as a racially mo­ti­vated in­jus­tice”.

“It’s my hon­our to do it. It’s about time,” the Pres­i­dent said.

John­son, a prom­i­nent ath­lete who crossed over into pop­u­lar cul­ture decades ago with bi­ogra­phies, dra­mas and doc­u­men­taries, was con­victed in 1913 by an all-white jury for vi­o­lat­ing the Mann Act for trav­el­ling with his white girl­friend.

That law made it il­le­gal to trans­port women across state lines for “im­moral” pur­poses”.

Pic­ture: AFP

JUS­TICE DONE: US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump with Linda Hay­wood, great-great niece of Jack John­son, world cham­pion boxer Deon­tay Wilder and ac­tor Sylvester Stal­lone yes­ter­day.

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