1968 And the Tommie Smith and John Carlo Story: A year in sports like no other
By admin On 27 Jul, 2018 At 05:28 PM | Categorized As Opinion | With 0 Comments

Tommie Smith and John Carlo turned America’s sports culture heads in the 1968 Mexico Olympic games. They won a gold and a bronze medal at the Olympics. But what they did next could not stand in contrast to today’s depoliticized and sanitized sports events.  No, they did not pull a Jordan on the Olympics or make a move on the global platform to protect an endorsement deal. They had a point to make and a crucial one for this matter.

As the guys walked towards the podium, they removed their shoes to protest poverty-stricken America. They wore beads to protest lynching.  Even if you like playing online games with 1xBet Promo Code, we are sure you know about this story.

The Tommie Smith and John Carlo Story


John Carlos took it a step further and unzipped his jacket which is violence of protocol in the Olympics. He was representing his people back home in New York city, both blacks and whites. In perhaps the most historic  Olympic event ever witnessed, they raised their fists as they sang the national anthem. The move was in support of the civil rights group and their symbolic gesture inspired millions of people around the world but outraged Americans.

However, many were left awed as the two-faced punishment, which was fast and severe. The United States Olympic Committee suspended Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

They were given 48 hours to leave Mexico and were expelled from the Olympic Village, which effectively ruined their careers. For years, they were treated as traitors and got death threats. They could not find decent jobs and their families suffered.

However, neither apologized for what they did. It is important to note that Paul Norman who won the silver medal 200m stood in solidarity with them. He wore an Olympic Human Rights badge during the entire medal ceremony. It would be 38 years later that Tommie Smith and John Carlos would return the favour. They were the pallbearers at his Funeral.

The Defining Moment in Sports


Since then, till today when sports starts are kneeling down during the American national anthem as a sign of protest, sports and human rights have become synonymous with each other.


It is moments like this that have defined American Sports. This was part of a legacy, it was proof of the long struggle, and consequences athletes have to go through in the face of injustice. It is sad that the courage and determination of this two have been forgotten. And yet, politics is considered antithetical and inappropriate when it comes to the world of sports. John Carlos and Tommie Smith defied all the rules just to make a point.

The phrase “Standing with Giants” never felt so alive than in that particular moment. October 1968 was a huge year for any sports fan out there. The sports arena should not only be a place of play and competition but an arena for athletes to get the courage to air the injustice they face. It is time to rip the political and cultural ideologies that are discriminating athletes.  This is the time to raise our fists because we do not need permission to fight injustice.

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