Is Barry Bonds In The Same League As Jack Johnson Hardly

Updated: November 16, 2007




Here at BASN

we have journalists

who glorify Barry Bonds

others who are neutral

and the Box Critical

The reason for yet another go around about Bonds in the Box is that it has become fashionable among some, and one prominent African American sports journalist in particular who recently equated Bond with legendary Boxer Jack Johnson.

It really doesn’t matter who the journalist is and it is to be expected that many fellow African Americans will leap to Bonds’ side. Rather this is about Glorifying Bonds placing him in the company of timeless African Americans as a means of neutralizing his retractors. Paul Robson is another icon recently associated with Bonds.

The point in these and other associations is to find Black Americans with strong emotional appeal who were unfairly often brutally hounded as African Americans for their Success to try and make the point that Barry Bonds’ only “problem” is that his skin is Black. That Bonds is a Victim.

To compare Bonds with Johnson’s plight

brings that Defense to the point of Absurdity

This is from a Box about Jack Johnson from

January 15, 2005

Deeply Racist

and with no interest

in a Black Sports Hero

least of all at the extremes

of American society

the very bottom and the very top

the poorest crudest white Bigots and

the wealthiest most powerful white Bigots

And worst of all

in the most Symbolic of all Sports


A Black Man beating a White Man

legally and

making a Fortune

becoming Famous

for doing it !

Now where exactly does Barry Bonds fit within those boundaries. Jack Johnson was born dirt poor the son of former slaves in Galveston, Texas. Barry Bonds the privileged son of a Major League baseball player of no small accomplishment his father, and even more having the great great Willie Mays as his mentor from his earliest years.

More to the Point in an age when Boxing was the King of Sports in the late 19th and early 20th centuries Jack Johnson raised himself up to become the greatest African American Boxer ever seen, and only to be denied the opportunity to fight white boxers in the Ring even though there was no doubt whatsoever Johnson was far superior.

Finally Jack Johnson got a chance to fight a white boxer by traveling all the way to Australia in order to do so where he trounced then World Champion Tommy Burns one day after Christmas in 1908. Then having taken the World Heavyweight Crown there was a worldwide effort most of all in the United States to find a “Great White Hope” to take back the Crown which led to ……

…… what to this day is widely proclaimed the Greatest Boxing Match in History, certainly the most historic on July 4, 1910 in Reno, Nevada, when the entire world even in the absence of television or radio came to a halt to focus on retired white champion Jim Jeffries, the one fighter the white world through might beat Johnson, got into the Ring with him on Independence Day where Johnson carried him for 15 Rounds before putting Jeffries on the Canvas for the only time in his Career.

For this the U.S Federal government, prosecutors and the FBI waged a concerted illegal campaign against Jack Johnson trying every means imaginable to indict and convict him of Federal crimes for one and only one reason he had white girl friends and married a white woman. For this the Feds used the outrageous context of a law called the Mann Act to accuse Johnson of being involved in abetting prostitution by taking women across state lines for sexual purposes. And ultimately a jury “convicted” him. Of nothing.

Now we have Bonds being equated with Jack Johnson

Why ? Maybe ….

Because Barry Bonds loaded his body with Steroids for years which allowed him to hit far more Home Runs than he would have otherwise. Because Barry Bonds has been given a free ride by Federal prosecutors even though he lied before a grand jury. Because Barry Bonds was the only well know ball player implicated with steroids NOT required to appear before a Congressional committee.

Because Barry Bonds may have made hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of memorabilia without reporting it on his taxes but the IRS is doing nothing about it. Because Barry Bonds is going to be the subject of a huge celebration when he hits his 715th Home Run. Because Barry Bonds is one of the best paid athletes in the history of Baseball.

Because Victor Conti and Bonds trainer the guys who supplied him Steroids were allowed an extraordinary plea bargain by the Feds without testifying against Bonds. Because Bonds Steroid use for years is detailed in the book “Game of Shadows” and no one not Barry Bonds or any of the journalists who hail Bonds have refuted those claims. None of them.

Or maybe the journalists who compare

Bonds with Jack Johnson are doing it

because of Bonds years as a Steroid Junkie

he may end up hitting 756 Home Runs

thus beating the “Great Whiter Hope”

African American Legend Hank Aaron

who earned his Record the Hard Way

without any Steroids

Maybe that’s it ?????