President Donald Trump said Saturday he's considering a "full pardon" for late heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion in U.S. history, following a telephone call from "Rocky" star Sylvester Stallone.
"Sylvester Stallone called me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson," the president tweeted.
Johnson, who died in 1946, was arrested twice in 1912, during the Jim Crow era, for crossing state lines with a white woman, 18-year-old Lucille Cameron, in violation with a federal law, the Mann Act. The law forbid the transport of a white woman across state lines for purposes deemed "immoral," including the pursuit of an interracial relationship.
The boxing great ended up spending a year in prison after he was convicted by an all-white jury. He's since become part of popular culture, including when his story was the basis of the movie "The Great White Hope," starring James Earl Jones as Johnson.
He was also the subject of the 2005 Ken Burns documentary, "Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson."
There has been a push from many quarters for a pardon for Johnson, including in 2014, when Sens. John McCain and Harry Reid wrote a letter to President Barack Obama seeking one.
"Jack Johnson was a tremendous athlete, and his legacy continues to be marred by this miscarriage of justice," their letter read. "A posthumous pardon is long overdue, and would be an important step in repairing the legacy of this great boxer and a rare opportunity for our government to right an historical wrong."
Johnson — nicknamed the Galveston Giant after his Texas hometown — became champion after defeating hite boxer Jim Jeffries in a 15-round bout in Reno, Nevada, in 1910.
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