Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE (D-Nev.), Sens. John McCainJohn McCainMcCain says he hasn't met with Trump since inauguration Overnight Defense: General warns State Department cuts would hurt military | Bergdahl lawyers appeal Trump motion | Senators demand action after nude photo scandal Senate lawmakers eye hearing next week for Air Force secretary: report MORE (R-Ariz.), Mo Cowan (D-Mass.), and Rep. Peter King (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation on Tuesday that urges the president to pardon Johnson, who was arrested under the Mann Act in 1913 which bars taking women over state lines for "immoral purposes." Johnson was jailed because of his romantic relations with a white woman.
"Jack Johnson was a legendary competitor who defined an era of American boxing and raised the bar for all American athletics," Reid said in a statement. "Johnson’s memory was unjustly tarnished by a racially-motivated criminal conviction, and it is now time to recast his legacy. I am pleased to work with my colleagues in both the Senate and House to formally restore Johnson’s name to the full stature and dignity he deserves."
McCain noted that both he House and Senate have called for a pardon of the first black American heavyweight champion. Both chambers passed a resolution pardoning Johnson in 2011.
"In past years, both chambers of Congress unanimously passed this resolution, but unfortunately, it still awaits executive action and no pardon has been issued," McCain said. "We can never completely right the wrong perpetrated against Jack Johnson during his lifetime, but this pardon is a small, meaningful step toward acknowledging his mistreatment before the law and celebrating his legacy of athletic greatness and historical significance."
Johnson won the 1908 world heavyweight title in 1908.