On this day in 1968, Smith and Carlos marked protest with iconic Black Power salute during Olympic Games


FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968, file photo, extending gloved hands skyward in protest, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos stare downward during the national anthem after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze in the men's 200 meters at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Australian silver medalist Peter Norman is at left. In a major shift in policy, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee committed to not sanction athletes who use their platform for social demonstrations. The USOPC stance sets up the possibility for conflict and confusion at the Tokyo Games, where the IOC will be in charge. (AP Photo/File)
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On October 16, 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos lifted their fists to give the Black Power salute during the national anthem at the medal ceremony in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Smith and Carlos won gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200-meter dash.

The International Olympic Committee president deemed the act to be a domestic political statement that was inappropriate for the apolitical Olympic Games. As a result, the two were suspended from the American team, banned from the Olympic Village, and expelled from the Games.

John Carlos, left, and Tommie Smith pose for a photo in front of statue that honors their iconic, black-gloved protest at the 1968 Games on the campus of San Jose State University on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. Smith and Carlos are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their medal ceremonies at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Smith continued in athletics and played in the NFL before becoming a professor. Carlos also played in the NFL and later became a high school track and field coach.

In 2008, Smith and Carlos received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPYs for their action at the Olympics.

John Carlos, left, and Tommie Smith pose with Steve Nash, standing, in the press room at the ESPYs Awards on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

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