Jack Johnson (262528)

Our Weekly reported recently that after a phone call from actor Sylvester Stallone (“Rocky”), President Donald Trump was considering pardoning the late great boxer Jack Johnson. Despite Johnson’s winning ways, the Black powerhouse was prosecuted for marrying a white woman and crossing state lines. He was forced to box overseas at one point or face considerable jail time. Johnson became the first African American heavyweight champion in 1908 after defeating Tommy Burns. Two years later, he put down Jim Jeffries, who was called “the Great White Hope.” His win caused race riots in some cities, and many of the victims were Black. Johnson avoided prison initially by fleeing to Europe, who lived and fought for 10 years. When he finally turned himself over to authorities, he served 10 months. He died in 1946 in an automobile crash. Trump said on social media: “His trial and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial.”