protesting on the podium

Věra Čáslavská made clear her opposition to the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos were less subtle at those same Olympics.

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.

We don’t live in a perfect world.

On Nov. 1, Smith and Carlos will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed because of their “character, conduct and off-field contributions,” as well as their athletic achievements.

Nancy Armour – USA TODAY – Opinion: ‘We were wrong,’ as USOPC finally do right by Tommie Smith, John Carlos

It’s been 51 years since the USA expelled Tommie and John. Time to make it right.


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Rick Mc

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

One thought on “protesting on the podium”

  1. “Nancy Armour – USA TODAY – Opinion: ‘We were wrong,’ as USOPC finally do right by Tommie Smith, John Carlos”

    Then change the rules so that political public expression is allowed.

    This opens up a can of worms, though. Whether you are on the left or the right of any given issue, everyone is motivated by their own ideology and conscience, believing they are in the right, fighting the good fight and on the right side of history. There is no country on the face of the planet that some citizen couldn’t find some political grievance about that they deem so severe as to warrant a public show of protest and dissatisfaction.

    “My government isn’t doing enough on climate change, endless wars, abortion, lgbt rights, illegal immigration, freedom of religion, too much religion in government,” etc, etc.

    Where does it end?

    When you compete to represent a country, who do you represent? Yourself as an individual? Yes. Your people? Yes. The country? Yes. Your government? Yes.

    I’m not saying disallow it. Just that it opens up a can of worms….


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