*Retired boxing champ Mike Tyson is spearheading a new campaign urging President Obama to posthumously pardon African-American ring legend Jack Johnson, who was convicted for taking his white girlfriend across state lines 100 years ago.
Johnson was found guilty of violating the Mann Act in 1913 after taking his future wife Lucille Cameron across a U.S. state border for what the all-white jury deemed to be an immoral purpose. He was sentenced to a year and a day behind bars, despite being in a consensual relationship with Cameron.
Activists have been trying to have Johnson’s record officially wiped on the grounds of racism. U.S. Senators Harry Reid and John McCain have both taken up the cause, and Tyson is adding his voice to the campaign after meeting with Nevada representative Reid on Tuesday.
Iron Mike launched a petition on Change.org calling on fans to show their support for the issue. “Let’s show President Obama and the White House that we too care about Jack Johnson’s legacy by signing this petition,” writes Tyson. “In doing so, we are also righting the legacy of our great country.”