- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson found a friend in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Tuesday, as the pair urged the president to posthumously pardon heavyweight champion Jack Johnson of what Reid called “a racially motivated criminal conviction.”

Sens. John McCain, William “Mo” Cowan and Rep. Pete King started the fight for Mr. Johnson’s pardon. The former heavyweight was convicted under the Mann Act of 1913 for taking his white girlfriend across state lines 100 years ago for what the all-white jury deemed to be an immoral purpose, the Toronto Sun reports.

Mr. Tyson joined the campaign after meeting with the Nevada Democrat Tuesday, setting up a petition on Change.org for fans to show their support for the 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,” Mr. Tyson wrote.

Shortly after the unlikely pair met, the former champion tweeted his appreciation for Mr. Reid, calling him a “great person” and “quite the boxing historian.”

Mr. Reid is a former boxing amateur.

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