President Barack Obama: Pardon boxing legend Jack Johnson
  • Petitioned President Barack Obama

This petition was delivered to:

President of the United States
President Barack Obama
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

President Barack Obama: Pardon boxing legend Jack Johnson

    1. Mike Tyson
    2. Petition by

      Mike Tyson

      Las Vegas, NV

Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion of the world, is long overdue a pardon. Johnson paved the way for black boxers like me. But he was a victim of racist Jim Crow justice and was wrongfully convicted by an all-white jury in June 1913, under the Mann Act, for dating a white woman. This unjust prosecution ultimately tarnished his legacy and ended his career. But Senator Harry Reid and Senator John McCain have taken up this issue and are working towards a pardon - President Obama should support their effort. 

Johnson was born as the son of former slaves in Texas and in his career as a boxer, he broke the rules of the segregated Jim Crow era by fighting and beating a white boxer. But he also dated white women - eventually marrying one. This infuriated many southern racists and in 1913, authorities sentenced him under The Mann Act to to a year and a day in prison for crossing state lines in the company of a white girlfriend.

The Mann Act was a law passed on June 25th, 1910, named after Congressman James Robert Mann. In it’s original form the law prohibited white slavery and the interstate transport of females for immoral purposes, which was to address prostitution. However, it’s ambiguous language of “immorality” allowed selective prosecutions, which was the unfortunate case of Mr. Johnson.

This unjust prosecution ultimately tarnished Jack Johnson’s legacy. Senator Harry Reid and Senator John McCain have taken up this issue and are working towards a pardon. Let’s show President Obama and the White House that we too care about Jack Johnson’s legacy by signing this petition. In doing so, we are also righting the legacy of our great country.

To:
President Barack Obama, President of the United States
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives
Thank you for all of the hard work and dedication to this great nation. I signed this petition to keep Mr. Jack Johnson's pardon at the forefront of peoples minds. I am honored to do this for his legacy. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 7,000 signatures

    Supporters

    @shawnemerriman

    Apr 10, 2013

    “@MikeTyson: Please sign this petition for Jack Johnson. I don't ask for much but this cause means a lot to me: http://t.co/2SlRI8tf3S”

    Shawne Merriman
    526k followers

    @rosieperezbklyn

    Apr 09, 2013

    My fellow #boxingheads PlS Sign #bipartisan petition to pardon #BoxingLegend #JackJohnson. Long overdue "@MikeTyson http://t.co/c2jYZ9skZ5"

    Rosie Perez
    19.5k followers

    @SenJohnMcCain

    Apr 04, 2013

    Thanks to @MikeTyson for joining effort to pardon Jack Johnson's racially-motivated conviction- sign the petition: http://t.co/QGXJs51Amt

    John McCain
    1.8M followers

    @LennoxLewis

    Apr 04, 2013

    Sign this petition 2pardon HW Champ Jack Johnson who was unfairly convicted of violating the racist Mann Act. http://t.co/FXD9lk2tnI

    Lennox Lewis
    239k followers

    @VanJones68

    Apr 03, 2013

    RT @MikeTyson: Help pardon boxing great Jack Johnson. Sign my petition to @barackobama. We can make a difference. http://t.co/drA4oPg3h8

    Van Jones
    88.3k followers

    @MikeTyson

    Apr 03, 2013

    President Barack Obama: Pardon boxing legend Jack Johson http://t.co/0J2FjY63oD via @change

    Mike Tyson
    3.65M followers

    @SenatorReid

    Apr 03, 2013

    One great boxer standing up for another: http://t.co/DO46kGpu4l CC @MikeTyson

    Senator Harry Reid
    97.4k followers

    Reasons for signing

    • Bruce Walker HOUSTON, TX
      • 6 months ago

      I believe he was married to this white woman.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • JACK MORRIS JR NEW BRITAIN, CT
      • 6 months ago

      TO RIGHT A WRONG DONE TO A GREAT MAN.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jamie Quanne BRADFORD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 6 months ago

      Mistakes of great men are often blown out of proportion however jack johnson was punished for his colour as boxing fan he is a one of my heros and as a boxer we should remember this great man with a hell of a lot more respect

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • kenny fountain HOUMA, LA
      • 6 months ago

      i believe it is long past due to remove this stain on history in America. These injustices must be brought to light to prevent its reoccurrence.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Abbie Overstreet NAVASOTA, TX
      • 6 months ago

      This is important because it is the right thing to do. I was told by my grandmother, that we are related.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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