Boxer Jack Johnson receives Trump pardon


Boxer Jack Johnson receives Trump pardon

WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump on Thursday granted a rare posthumous pardon to boxing’s first black heavyweight champion, clearing Jack Johnson’s name more than 100 years after what many see as his racially-charged conviction.

“I am taking this very righteous step, I believe, to correct a wrong that occurred in our history and to honor a truly legendary boxing champion,” Trump said during an Oval Office ceremony. He was joined by WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, retired heavyweight titleholder Lennox Lewis and actor Sylvester Stallone, whom Trump credited with championing the pardon.

Trump said Johnson had served 10 months in prison “for what many view as a racially-motivated injustice.”

“It’s my honor to do it. It’s about time,” the president said.

Johnson, a prominent athlete who crossed over into popular culture decades ago with biographies, dramas and documentaries, was convicted in 1913 by an all-white jury for violating the Mann Act for traveling with his white girlfriend. That law made it illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral” purposes.”

Gordon leads Rockets over Warriors, 98-94

HOUSTON

Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 24 points and his steal on Golden State’s last possession secured a 98-94 victory Thursday night that gave the Houston Rockets a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.

The Rockets head into Game 6 on Saturday night in Oakland, California one win away from knocking off the defending champions and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 1994-95.

Chris Paul scored 20 points and James Harden struggled for his 19, but Paul had to leave the game in the final minute with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Warriors.

Kyle Busch captures pole for Coca-Cola 600

CONCORD, N.C.

Kyle Busch will start at the front of the field Sunday in the Coca-Cola 600, and NASCAR Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick will begin in the rear.

Busch took the pole for NASCAR’s longest race by turning a lap of 191.836 mph Thursday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Joey Logano will start alongside Busch on the front row.

But the big story was Harvick, who never got on the track after failing pre-race inspection three times. Car chief Robert Smith was ejected, and Harvick will have to sit out the first 30 minutes of practice Saturday.

Harvick has been dominant this season, winning five Cup races — including the last two — and the $1 million exhibition All-Star race Saturday.

Gordon, Roush, Penske headline HOF class

CHARLOTTE, N.C.

Jeff Gordon has been selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

A four-time Cup Series champion who helped take stock car racing from a regional sport to the mainstream in the 1990s, Gordon received 96 percent of the votes from the Hall of Fame committee. He’s third in Cup history with 93 victories.

Car owners Jack Roush and Roger Penske also were selected to the Hall of Fame.

They will be joined by drivers Alan Kulwicki, known for his unique “Polish victory lap,” and Davey Allison, who won 19 Cup races, including the 1992 Daytona 500. Both died in 1993 — Kulwicki at age 38 in a plane crash and Allison three months later in a helicopter crash at 32.

Jim Hunter was selected as the Landmark Award winner.

Mexico-US soccer set to play Sept. 11 exhibition

CHICAGO

The U.S. will play Mexico on Sept. 11 at Nashville, Tennessee, in the second of a pair of home games during the international fixture period.

The match announced Thursday will be the first for Mexico on a FIFA date following the World Cup.

Associated Press

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