Justice Department Won't Recommend Posthumous Pardon for Nation's First Black Boxing Champ

In their letter to the president in October, McCain and King asked Obama to "right this wrong and erase an act of racism that sent an American citizen to prison."

The two lawmakers noted that it is their second letter to the president asking him to consider Congress' request for a pardon.

"Regrettably, we have not received a response from you or any member of your administration," they wrote.

Both McCain and King told ABC News that they have yet to hear from the White House on the issue.

Obama Has a Lot on His Plate

"We're not upset about it or unhappy about it," McCain said. "We know the president's very busy."

King said he understood that Obama has a lot on his plate but this is an issue that could bring people together.

"I don't want to sound critical because he does have Afghanistan," King said. "I don't want to be saying, 'Hey, it's more important to be pardoning Jack Johnson than deciding on Afghanistan.

"On the other hand, I do think President Obama can do both things."

Both McCain and King noted the significance of a presidential pardon for Johnson.

It would show, McCain said, "that America's come a long way and that Americans, even though it takes us way, way, way too long, are willing to do what we can to correct injustices that were committed on any of our citizens."

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