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Deontay Wilder on White House visit: ‘Worth it’ to honor Jack Johnson

Deontay Wilder is going to the White House, but admits he thought about turning it down.

Deontay Wilder v Luis Ortiz Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

You knew that when guys like Lennox Lewis and Deontay Wilder agreed to go to the White House, and be present while President Trump announced he’d pardoned Jack Johnson for a Mann Act offense in the early 1900s, there had to be some deliberation if they should accept the invite or say no way, Jose.

Trump kicked off his campaign slurring Mexico, and that didn’t stop WBC prez Mauricio Sulaiman from attending the ceremony, giving Trump a WBC belt which had his orange mug pinned to it, with other notables (ones who hadn’t smeared Mexican immigrants as being inordinately made up of rapists).

And the fact that Trump on Thursday opined that maybe NFLers who chose to take a knee rather than stand for the anthem should leave the country didn’t dissaude Lewis or Wilder from being there to soak in the good news for those rooting for Johnson to receive some leniency about a hundred years after he was snagged by lawmen.

Wilder, the Alabama athlete who holds the WBC strap, admitted on the Randy Gordon/Gerry Cooney “At the Fights” Sirius/XM show, produced by Josh Friedman, that he did indeed ponder turning down the White House visit.

Deontay Wilder said on the show, “I did consider (not going to Washington) because of what is going on in my environment, what is going on with the world today. Especially within my community.

“Everybody knows I love all people, I love my people and I speak for those voices. It was worth going for Jack Johnson. It was worth it from one WBC champion to another, the first African-American champion. It was alright for me to be there for boxing, for myself and for Jack.”

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