Black History: October 16, 1968 - The Silent Protest
Today in history at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, African-American athlete Tommie Smith won the 200-metre dash in a record time of 19.83 seconds, thus winning the gold medal. White Australian athlete Peter Norman came second at 20.06 seconds and African-American athlete John Carlos came third at 20.10 seconds.
While receiving their medals at the podium:
Smith and Carlos bowed their head and raised their gloved fists as the American Star-Spangled Banner played, and the crowd booed the athletes as they left the podium. After the event, Smith stated:
"If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say "a Negro". We are black and we are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did tonight.”