Boxing Icons Join JAB In Seeking Pardon For Jack Johnson

The Joint Association of Boxers (JAB) has gained the support of boxing icons Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson in its pursuit of justice for the former Heavyweight Champion, Jack Johnson.

The former champs have joined a long list of boxers supporting JAB and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ campaign to pardon Johnson. JAB has initiated a petition with professional boxers urging President Bush to grant Johnson a posthumous pardon and, along with the Teamsters Union, is lobbying Congress to pass a resolution clearing Johnson’s name.

“Jack Johnson paved the way not only for African American athletes, but for all people of color,” said Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, President of JAB. “He was Heavyweight Champ long before anyone ever heard of Brown v. Board of Education, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King or even the Civil Rights Movement. His conviction was motivated by racism and his pardon is long overdue.”

Johnson was the first African American to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. His achievements in the ring contradicted the stereotypes that became the justification for Jim Crow Laws and institutionalized racism.

“Racism is a tough opponent, but we have come a long way from the days of Jim Crow,” said Muhammad. “Every boxer, especially the champions who came after him, owe a lot to Jack Johnson, the least we can do is fight to get his pardon.”

“Boxers continue to be exploited and can only build strength by coming together,” said Teamsters General President James Hoffa. “Rallying around Jack Johnson is an important first step in boxers achieving the dignity and respect they deserve.”

JAB urges all professional boxers and boxing fans to sign our petition for Jack Johnson. The petition can be found at http://www.boxersunion.org.

Via PRNewswire

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