Mike Tyson is putting his weight behind the effort to pardon late boxer Jack Johnson.
His heavyweight political punch, that is.
The boxer is rubbing shoulders with influential U.S. senators in the effort to pardon Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion whose record was marred by his 1913 conviction for transporting a woman across a state line for "immoral" purposes.
The woman was white; Johnson was black. They later married.
On Thursday, Sen. John McCain tweeted his support for a petition on the site Change.org started by Tyson. McCain has for years led an effort to obtain the rare posthumous pardon.
John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain): "Thanks to @MikeTyson for joining effort to pardon Jack Johnson's racially-motivated conviction- sign the petition."
"This unjust prosecution ultimately tarnished Jack Johnson's legacy," the petition reads. "Senator Harry Reid and Senator John McCain have taken up this issue and are working towards a pardon. Let's show President Obama and the White House that we too care about Jack Johnson's legacy by signing this petition. In doing so, we are also righting the legacy of our great country."
Reid met with Tyson on Monday and said the cause was an example of "One great boxer standing up for another."
Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid): "Pleased to meet Champ @MikeTyson yesterday,talked about the importance of pardoning former boxing great Jack Johnson pic.twitter.com/ZkjR13wcS1"
Tyson wrote that Reid, a former boxer himself, "is quite the boxing historian. An all around great person."
Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson): "My friend @SenatorReid has had an amazing journey from Washington to the White House. Read his memoir it's compelling and funny."
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
We’ve turned a corner! The weather is warming up so it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy some fantastic weather.
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
Police are searching for a suspect who shot a man in a Phoenix apartment Thursday morning.
Nominees for the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards, announced Thursday in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association:
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office will hold a series of community meetings in connection with a court case in which the agency was found to have systematically racially profiled Latinos.
A co-defendant in the 1991 killings of nine people at a suburban Phoenix Buddhist temple is set to resume testimony against the man accused of being his accomplice.
On Wednesday, one of two identical cooling loops shut down. The system uses ammonia to dissipate heat from on-board equipment.
The Golden Globe nominations have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.