John Carlos and Tommie Smith shared in Sports Activism during the 1968 Olympics

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The black glove salute by 1968 USA sprint medalists John Carlos and Tommie Smith set off a firestorm during the Mexico City Games. The backstory is that the entire USA Olympic squad of African American decent contemplated not participating at all. But the decision was made to move forward with the Black athletes devising various methods of protesting their disenchantment with their native USA’s treatment of the Black community during the Games. Noticeably missing was UCLA’s All-American Lew Alcindor (aka Kareem Jabbar). Carlos and Smith were eventually banned for life by the United States Olympic Committee for their expression of exhibiting the Black Glove Salute while on the world’s stage.

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