I’ve been waiting for this..
1968 Olympic Black Power Salute.
they got their medals taken away because of this
and they dont give a shit
and lets not forget the aussie in the green
he had a pin on him in favor of equal rights
like everyone up there stood for peace
ths shit is iconic
The Olympics is supposed to be a wonderful thing, but two Black athletes had their fairly won medals taken away from them because they used their podium moment to peacefully protest the segregation and genocide of their people in the nation they were representing.
Think on that.
I’m not even black or American but this is historic. I researched on it.
It’s frustrating to know such brave people were condemned and suffered a life of hardship for their bravery.
Here’s the wiki article:
The two U.S. athletes received their medals shoeless, but wearing black socks, to represent black poverty. Smith wore a black scarf around his neck to represent black pride, Carlos had his tracksuit top unzipped to show solidarity with all blue collar workers in the U.S. and wore a necklace of beads which he described “were for those individuals that were lynched, or killed and that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. It was for those thrown off the side of the boats in the middle passage.” All three athletes wore Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badges.
Both U.S. athletes intended on bringing black gloves to the event, but Carlos forgot his, leaving them in the Olympic Village. It was the Australian, Peter Norman, who suggested Carlos wear Smith’s left-handed glove. For this reason, Carlos raised his left hand as opposed to his right, differing from the traditional Black Power salute. When “The Star-Spangled Banner” played, Smith and Carlos delivered the salute with heads bowed, a gesture which became front page news around the world. As they left the podium they were booed by the crowd. Smith later said, “If I win, I am American, not a black American. But if I did something bad, then they would say I am a Negro. We are black and we are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did tonight.”
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Avery Brundage deemed it to be a domestic political statement unfit for the apolitical, international forum the Olympic Games were supposed to be. In response to their actions, he ordered Smith and Carlos suspended from the U.S. team and banned from the Olympic Village. When the US Olympic Committee refused, Brundage threatened to ban the entire US track team. This threat led to the two athletes being expelled from the Games.
A spokesman for the IOC said it was “a deliberate and violent breach of the fundamental principles of the Olympic spirit.” Brundage, who was president of the United States Olympic Committee in 1936, had made no objections against Nazi salutes during the Berlin Olympics. He argued that the Nazi salute, being a national salute at the time, was acceptable in a competition of nations, while the athletes’ salute was not of a nation and therefore unacceptable.
Back home, they were subject to abuse and they and their families received death threats.
Smith continued in athletics, playing in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals before becoming an assistant professor of physical education at Oberlin College. In 1995, he helped coach the U.S. team at the World Indoor Championships at Barcelona. In 1999 he was awarded the California Black Sportsman of the Millennium Award. He is now a public speaker.
Carlos’ career followed a similar path. He tied the 100 yard dash world record the following year. He later played in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles until a knee injury prematurely ended his career. He fell upon hard times in the late 1970s. In 1977, his ex-wife committed suicide, leading him to a period of depression. In 1982, Carlos was employed by the Organizing Committee for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles to promote the games and act as liaison with the city’s black community. In 1985, he became a track and field coach at Palm Springs High School. As of 2012, Carlos works as a counselor at the school.
Norman, who was sympathetic to his competitors’ protest, was reprimanded by his country’s Olympic authorities and ostracized by the Australian media. He was not picked for the 1972 Summer Olympics, despite having qualified 13 times over. Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at Norman’s funeral in 2006.
It was an insanely hectic year on the US. Martin Luther was assassinated in April, Vietnam was being protested, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. This all happened before the Olympic games. It’s a shame that they were booed and got death threats just like it’s a shame that troops coming home during that same year from Vietnam weren’t welcome back either.