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It's been 51 years since American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos disgraced their country with a black power salute on the victory podium at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Smith just turned 75 this month, and the more time goes by, the more he is revered by those on the Left. Ricardo A. Hazell, senior contributor to The Shadow League blog, toasted Smith as a "legend" and an honored member of the academic community.
Hazell called Smith an athlete who, during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner in Mexico City, became a scapegoat and "vilified Olympian" who's taken a long road to that of "a celebrated representative of black dignity."
US - Olympic - Trials - San - Jose
During the U.S. Olympic trials in San Jose that year, Smith set the world record in the 200-meter dash, lowering the mark to 19.92 seconds. The outrage he and Carlos generated after both won medals in the Olympics proved one thing to Hazell: "The message to me was clear, America didn’t think very much about black people or their achievements in the nation."
Before the '68 Olympic Games, Smith (seen in photo above and at right in photo below from 1968 Olympic protest) was active in the Olympic Project for Human Rights and called for a boycott of the Mexico City games because of South Africa, with its racist Apartheid policy, and Rhodesia. He also demanded that Muhammad Ali have his heavyweight title restored after dodging the draft. Though Hazell claimed it was due, in part, to Ali's conversion to Islam.
Hazell - International - Olympic
Hazell wrote that International Olympic...
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