Professional Boxers Unite to Seek Presidential Pardon for Jack Johnson
02.03.05 - The Joint Association of Boxers (J.A.B.) is rallying professional boxers behind the campaign to pardon Jack Johnson by initiating a petition with boxing legends, professional fighters and fans. "We in the boxing community have a unique opportunity to fight for the redemption of a pioneer in our field, said Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, President of J.A.B.
Article posted on 02.03.2005
"Fighters are the most exploited workers in sports today. Professional boxers are coming together and speaking as a community for one of our own, Jack Johnson."
Support for the campaign is growing each day as the sport's best and brightest from the past, present and future step up to help right this wrong. The list is long and distinguished with current boxers like undisputed Welterweight Champ Zab Judah, Junior Welterweight Champ Arturo Gatti, Junior Middleweight Champion Travis Simms Jr., Light Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., IBF Cruiserweight Champ Kelvin Davis, and Junior Middleweight Kofi Jantuah throwing their support behind the petition.
Legends of the square ring have also signed the petition, including former champs Sugar Ray Leonard and Larry Holmes, former Welterweight Champ Carlos Palomino, former Heavyweight Champion Hasim Rahman, 1972 Olympic gold medalist Sugar Ray Seales, former two-time World Champ and world class trainer James "Buddy" McGirt, former Light Heavyweight champ Bobby Foster and former three division Champ Mike McCallum.
Monte Barrett, the current mandatory heavyweight challenger in both the IBF and the WBC has never seen this kind of unity in his time as a boxer.
"This is the first time fighters have come together for something so important," said Barrett.
The campaign is gaining momentum. On January 25, 2005, Peter King (R-NY) and Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives urging President Bush to grant Johnson a pardon.
The resolution states, "Jack Johnson was wronged by a racially motivated conviction prompted by his success in the boxing ring and his relationships with white women."
The Congressmen are hopeful that the House of Representatives will adopt the resolution and call on the president to grant the former champ a posthumous pardon.
The campaign is also receiving considerable support from the Teamsters Union, with which J.A.B. is affiliated. The Teamsters have always been at the forefront of the fight for the rights of working men and women.
"Jack Johnson refused to accept the racial barriers of his time and was ultimately punished," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "We support this effort because it's the right thing to do."
J.A.B. urges all professional boxers and boxing fans to sign our petition for Jack Johnson. The petition can be found at http://www.boxersunion.org
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