Trump pardons heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson posthumously

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In a White House statement issued after the president signed Johnson's pardon, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reflected on the boxer's life and achievements, calling his conviction an "injustice".

Johnson, who died in a 1946 auto crash in North Carolina at 68, finished with a career record of 73-13-10 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being an unrepentant black man who beat up white men for a living.

Joined by actor Sylvester Stallone, former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and reigning WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, Trump said during an Oval Office ceremony: "We righted a wrong".

Joe Cutchins, whose father heard the crash that killed boxer Jack Johnson in Franklinton, can still point out the spot.

Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder admires the courage and style of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion.

Not only was Johnson the first black man to win the heavyweight world championship, but he also was the rare black man of his era who was brash, ostentatious and unapologetic about his wealth and success.

Eric Holder, who was President Obama's attorney general from 2009 through 2015, told WPIX in NY in 2016 that allegations of domestic violence against Johnson made him hard to pardon.

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Three years later, he was convicted by an all-white jury of violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport a woman across state lines for "immoral" purposes.

Johnson and Ms Cameron later married. But he returned years later and agreed to serve a 10-month jail sentence. She had worked as a prostitute but was in a relationship with Johnson, according to the Times.

Today, President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) posthumously to John Arthur "Jack" Johnson, the first African American Heavyweight Champion of the World, for a Mann Act conviction that occurred during a period of racial tension more than a century ago.

The pardon came just hours after Trump said American football players who refuse to stand for the national anthem "maybe shouldn't be in the country".

Johnson was convicted in June 1913, but he skipped bail and went to Montreal on June 25 where Lucille, now his wife, was waiting for him. He was ultimately released on July 9, 1921.

During the ceremony, Trump could not resist taking a jab at former president Barack Obama, saying it was "very disappointing for a lot of people" that his predecessor had not pardoned Johnson.

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice opted not to recommend a posthumous pardon for Johnson.

"To the president, Mr. Stallone said, 'It's incredible you've done this.' Sen". Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had also called for a pardon.

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