Posted by: Michael | October 16, 2008

In the World: The Black Power Salute at the Mexico Olympics

Wednesday, October 16, 1968

African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos finished first and third respectively in the 200 meter race, with Smith setting a then world record. Both would raise their fists and bow their heads during the rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner as they stood on the podium where they received their medals. Carlos raised his left fist instead of the traditional right fist salute because he was wearing Smith’s left-handed glove, having forgotten to bring his pair of black gloves to the race. Smith and Carlos were ultimately expelled from the Olympics after the International Olympic Committee threatened to dismiss the entire US track team.

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