Donald Trump says he's considering a pardon of a heavyweight boxing champion after he received a call from Rocky Balboa himself.
"Sylvester Stallone called me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial," Trump tweeted on Saturday afternoon. "Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!"
Sylvester Stallone called me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial. Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
Johnson, who died in 1946, was the first black heavyweight boxing champion in American history, rising to the role during the Jim Crow era. In 1912 he was arrested twice for accompanying a white woman across state lines under a law that forbid such transport for "immoral purposes" -- which, at the time, included interracial relationships. Johnson spent a year in prison after being convicted by an all-white jury.
Johnson has since appeared in popular culture in the play and 1970 movie The Great White Hope, which starred James Earl Jones as Johnson, and in the 2005 Ken Burns documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.
So far in his presidency, Trump has pardoned three formerly convicted felons, including former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, former U.S. Navy sailor Kristian Saucier and lawyer and former adviser to former vice president Dick Cheney I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Stallone's representatives for comment.