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Sat Jul 24, 2021, 08:29 PM

Tommie Smith protested on the podium in 1968. He expects to see similar acts in Tokyo. [View all]

Track and field star Gwen Berry turned her back to the flag on the medal podium at last month’s U.S. Olympic trials and then became the latest athlete to be vilified by right-wing politicians for staging a protest during the national anthem. In a few weeks, Berry will represent the United States in the hammer throw at the Tokyo Olympics and may do something similar.

Those politicians will be watching, ready to label her “anti-American” and unfit to represent her country. But Tommie Smith will be watching, too. And listening.

“They said that about us back in 1968,” Smith, a legendary half of the most iconic athlete protest in Olympic history, said during a recent telephone interview. “I wish more athletes would be like her, to stand up and make a movement toward the excitement of freedom.”

Smith and John Carlos raised those black-gloved fists — in opposition to the racial discrimination they faced back in America, and in solidarity with those fighting for equality — after finishing first and third in the 200 meters at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968. They were booed on the medal stand, but Smith defiantly raised his fist again to make it clear that what he did was intentional — and that he was unapologetic.


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Reply Tommie Smith protested on the podium in 1968. He expects to see similar acts in Tokyo. [View all]
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jul 2021 OP
Poiuyt Jul 2021 #1