Black Power Salute Essay Example

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The Olympics are held every four years and are used as a global stage for many thousands of sportsmen and women who come from many different countries around the world to demonstrate their abilities ranging from running to rowing. In theory, the Olympic Games are supposed to be free from any politics and be purely about the athlete’s competition and celebrations. It is supposed to be non-gender, non-religion and non-race biased to show the accomplishment of the athletes that compete. Sporting officials are also supposed to be un-biased offering equal opportunities to all athletes.
In the 1968 Olympic Games held in Mexico City, this was not the case as two black American athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos made a silent political protest on October 17 against racial discrimination after they received their medals on the stadium. They were gold and bronze medalists in the 200 meters. They both stood with heads bowed and a black-gloved hand raised as well as both wearing black socks with no shoes on the stadium. Both men were demonstrating against an ongoing racial discrimination of black people in the United States and for Civil Rights. “Smith has also been quoted as saying he raised his fist to represent black power within America, while Carlos raised his left fist to represent black unity. United together they formed an arch of unity and power.”
The backlash was immediate and very far ranging. When the national Anthem had finished and the athletes were walking off the podium they were booed by many people in the crowd. Many of these people believed that this international sporting event should be free from politics and be solely about the sport and its accomplishments. To the people in the crowd, this would be seen as a disgrace to all Americans. Tommie Smith and John Carlos would then become the subject of much criticism because of their actions. For example, Time magazine showed the Olympic logo with words, “Angrier, Nastier, Uglier”, instead of “Faster,

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