A Pardon For Galveston's Jack Johnson? McCain's On It

Senator John McCain is announcing today that he wants President Obama to issue a pardon for Jack Johnson, the "Galveston Giant" who ruled boxing's heavyweight division in the early 20th Century and was convicted of transporting a woman across state lines to get him some.

Because McCain is all about the sex.

No, actually, McCain says he thinks -- like a lot of people do -- that Johnson's arrest was racially motivated.

The AP reports: "I've been a very big fight fan, I was a mediocre boxer myself," McCain, R-Ariz., said in a telephone interview. "I had admired Jack Johnson's prowess in the ring. And the more I found out about him, the more I thought a grave injustice was done."

He's joined by Rep. Peter King, a fellow Republican. Where's Pete Olson on this?

Johnson was born in Galveston and grew up there until his teens, when he left to make his way with his fists.

He brought a scientific approach to his bouts. He won the first "Fight of the Century," against Jim Jeffries, in 1910. (According to wikipedia, the pre-bout entertainment included a band playing a song called "All Coons Look Alike to Me.")

Johnson's been immortalized in the James Earl Jones movie The Great White Hope and in the Ken Burns documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.

Burns is also pushing for a presidential pardon.

No word yet on whether John Cornyn or Kay Bailey Hutchison are on board.

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