Athletes Who Protested The National Anthem

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In 1968, the United States’ Tommie Smith and John Carlos won gold and bronze respectively in the 200m track event of the 1968 Summer Olympics. Both athletes were African American and during the medal ceremony, as the national anthem was playing, both raised their black-gloved fists in the air.

Many people misconstrued the statement to relate to the ‘Black Power’ movemement, but all 3 medalists (including Australia’s silver medalist Peter Norman) wore human rights badges on their jackets. Smith confirmed later in his autobiography that the raised fists were indeed about human rights.

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