Tommie Smith

San Jose State Icons Set Precedent for Equality Protests at Sochi Olympics

U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith, left, and John Carlos split a pair of gloves and raised their fists in the air at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City to protest the treatment of African Americans in what has been called the “black power salute.” (Photo via AP)

Raising their black-gloved fists in the night air of Mexico City in 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos were almost universally condemned. National broadcaster Brent Musberger, then a young sportswriter, referred to the men as “black-skinned stormtroopers.” Bringing home gold and bronze, the Olympic medalists received little more than spite from the country they proudly represented. But the iconic moment transcended sports and politics and time has corrected perspectives. Russia, now the host country of the upcoming Winter Olympics, presents a similar opportunity for athletes across the world to have their voice heard.

Read More 1