April 1st, 2009
01:00 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain, King seek pardon for boxer

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/24/art.getty.mccain.smiling.jpg caption="McCain is trying to get a pardon for boxer Jack Johnson."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Arizona Sen. John McCain and New York Rep. Pete King are introducing a resolution on Wednesday that seeks to posthumously pardon Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight boxing champion.

Johnson was convicted for violating the Mann Act in 1913, which made it illegal to bring women across state lines for "immoral purposes." At the time, Johnson was in a relationship with a white woman and he spent a year in jail.

The Republican lawmakers will be joined by Johnson's great niece, Linda Haywood, at a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. EBC, MD

    Thank YOU Sen. McCain. It's NEVER too late to do the right thing. I just hope this is not for political posturing, but then again, you are a politician.

    April 1, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Denise

    Is this really an integral part of making lives better today? What purpose does this action really serve so long after the fact and after Johnson's death so many years ago? It's symbolic, sure, but is it really necessary, and should it be occupying our valuable time now with the various crisises we are currently facing? Hmmmmm. I mean, I'm a major advocate for equal, civil rights, but this seems symbolic and unnessary at this point in our history.

    April 1, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. arithmetic is liberal


    This might make up for voting against Martin Luther King Jr Day, John.

    April 1, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. ch

    Maybe someone can now pardon McCain for being Irresponsible / reckless/stupid enough to select Sarah Palin as his running mate?

    April 1, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Melissa

    This....with everything else our country needs to have worked on, is what these leaders are worrying themselves with??????

    April 1, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    It's a liitle too late for a pardon don't ya think?

    April 1, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Mike in Philly

    A nice gesture.

    April 1, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. alvino

    McCain has shown he cannot multitask, so this project will take up most of his senate time.

    April 1, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Ignorance

    Let me see McCain has been in office how long and he is just seeking this pardon....speaks volumes...

    April 1, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. lexthebomb

    I'm not sure that was one of your favorite movies Senator McCain, but,
    what you and Rep. King are doing is indeed a noblemans jesture. You
    are now getting your second wind, after an honorable bittersweet loss.
    If we only knew, that President George Bush's second term would do him an injustice, the country would have elected you in a heartbeat.
    Keep smiling, and you will soar to even greater heights imaginable.
    You have to remember, that support is not always a matter of dollars.

    April 1, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Did she ever go back?

    April 1, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. me

    I applaud the gesture...what's the catch?

    I mean...these ARE republicans.

    April 1, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. DJ

    Wow, Johnny Mac. Way to be on the cutting edge of an issue that hasn't been an issue in decades. I mean, yeah – the guy should obviously be pardoned. But he should have been pardoned EONS ago. Leave it to McCain to make a dead issue seem urgent.

    April 1, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Scott the Happy Independent

    A none issue that only has relivance at this time to the family of the late Jack Johnson. McCain has been in congress for over 20 years why now?

    April 1, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. SHIRLEY "60"

    I really would be interested in what your fellow republicans think about this efforts?

    April 1, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. boneheads

    This is shameful and Obama will not be pulled into this. Obama is smarter than what McCain thinks. Another repub game.

    April 1, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Stevensdot

    How would Senator react if this issue was proposed by the President? Wise use of Senatorial resources?

    April 1, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Once You Vote Black

    Wow, is that a childhood friend of your Mc? Why not help someone who is still alive?

    April 1, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. mypitts2

    Way to go J-Mac. This is why he's different. He's a credit to his party.

    April 1, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    McCain has nothing else to do? No other concerns?

    April 1, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. jaye

    This is nothing but PANDERING on the part of John McShame.

    April 1, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Retired Army in San Antonio

    A posthumous pardon?!?!? Well isn't that nice?

    Republicans tryin' to help a butha out 😉 !

    April 1, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. abc ~ anything but california hugh

    "It's been a long time coming, goin' to be a long time gone." –CSN&Y

    Things like this never cease to amaze me. Jack Johnson has been dead since 1946 after dying in a car crash in North Carolina, when he drove away angry after the owners of a diner refused to serve him because he was black. He should have pardoned then, in 1946, not 2009. Simply amazing. This pardon is long, long overdue. This pardon will not alter history, but it might alter future history, where discrimination becomes a thing of the past.

    I'm still amazed it's taken this long, for something that happened so many years ago, an African American man imprisoned, simply because he had sex with a white prostitute!

    Who was really immoral here–white society. Unbelievable.

    April 1, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. gl, Pittsburgh

    He just can not believe he is irrelavent. He and Palin will try anything to see in the news.

    April 1, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. KLK

    Is this a part of the "hip hop" effort to get more minorities to vote republican???

    April 1, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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