Tommie Smith and John Carlos 1968

It’s been 49 years since Tommie Smith and John Carlos decided to take political action – the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute

After having won gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200-meter running event, they turned on the podium to face their flags, and to hear the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner“. Each athlete raised a black-gloved fist, and kept them raised until the anthem had finished. In addition, Smith, Carlos, and Australian silver medalist Peter Norman all wore human rights badges on their jackets.

In his autobiography, Silent Gesture, Smith stated that the gesture was not a “Black Power” salute, but a “human rights salute”. …

The american sprinters Tommie Smith,John Carlos and Peter Norman during the award ceremony of the 200 m race at the Mexican Olympic games. During the awards ceremony, Smith and Carlos protested against racial discrimination: they went barefoot on the podium and listened to their anthem bowing their heads and raising a fist with a black glove. Mexico City, Mexico, 1968 Mexico city, Mexico, 1968

In a perfect world we would keep politics and sport separate.

Now age 72, John Carlos was interviewed – 50 years before Colin Kaepernick knelt, John Carlos raised his fist

Despite being ostracized and ridiculed, Carlos says it was worth it to bring attention to the oppression of people of colour.

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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