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.
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.