The first Black Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson saw his triumphant run came to a screeching halt well before 1913 when he was convicted of violating the Mann act, a dated law that prohibited men from travelling with women with the purpose of committing “debauchery” or any sexual acts for that matter. Since Jack Johnson had become an important figure in short order, previous members of office had tried and failed to wipe his slate clean. The fact that Donald Trump was the person who finally saw to it, is surprising to say the least. Many of his Trump’s political opponents believe this “righteous step” as he calls it, is nothing more than a token gesture meant to curb racial tension in the country.
“I am taking this very righteous step, I believe, to correct a wrong that occurred in our history and to honor a truly legendary boxing champion,” said Trump during a ceremony officiated by the White House and attended by members of Johnson’s family, and even Sylvester Stallone, an avid boxing historian who advocated for his pardoning. Jack Johnson who left the sport with an undefeated record, has become a symbol of excellence, his violation had become a distant memory long ago.