Famous 1968 Black Power salute: Smith applauds athletes' social activism

2017-04-19 18:21
In this 1968 file photo, Tommie Smith, centre, and John Carlos extend gloved hands skyward during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. (AP File)

In this 1968 file photo, Tommie Smith, centre, and John Carlos extend gloved hands skyward during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. (AP File)

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Columbus - A US Olympic champion who famously raised his black-gloved fist during a 1968 medal ceremony, says he's proud to see current professional athletes drawing attention to racial inequality and social injustice using peaceful protests during the national anthem.

Tommie Smith received his gold medal in the 200m in Mexico City. Smith and American bronze medallist John Carlos lowered their heads and raised their fists during America's national anthem and were later booed.

The 72-year-old Smith tells The Columbus Dispatch he did so because black athletes' attempts to be heard were limited.

Smith commented about more recent protests ahead of a Thursday panel at Ohio State University, where he's set to discuss the role of athletes' activism in social change.


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