In homage to African-Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who proudly gestured skyward during the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, leveling the playing field for civil rights. Smith set a world record by winning the 200-meter race and Carlos placed third. When accepting their awards, they wore symbolic clothing and hoisted black-gloved fists during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
What is less known is that silver medalist Peter Norman, a white Australian, donned a badge on his uniform while on the podium in support of their cause. Caught in a whirlwind of public outrage, Smith and Carlos were immediately banished from the U.S. Olympic team, and even received death threats. In July 2008, John Carlos and Tommie Smith accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for their deeds at the 1968 Olympics at the 2008 ESPY Awards.
Now legendary, this image is a powerful icon of African-American athletes’ struggle for equality.