Olympian Tommie Smith applauds athletes' social activism

ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 20, 2017 09:45 AM
Olympian Tommie Smith applauds athletes' social activism
FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968, file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos stare downward while extending gloved hands skyward during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Australian silver medalist Peter Norman is at left. Tommie Smith says he’s proud to see current professional athletes drawing attention to racial inequality and social injustice using peaceful protests during the national anthem. (AP Photo/File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A U.S. Olympic champion who famously raised his black-gloved fist during a 1968 medal ceremony says he's proud to see current professional athletes drawing attention to racial inequality and social injustice using peaceful protests during the national anthem.

Tommie Smith received his gold medal in the 200 meters in Mexico City. Smith and American bronze medalist John Carlos lowered their heads and raised their fists during America's national anthem and were later booed.

The 72-year-old Smith tells The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2pwp46A ) he took those actions because black athletes' attempts to be heard were limited.

Smith commented about more recent protests ahead of a Thursday panel at Ohio State University, where he's set to discuss the role of athletes' activism in social change.

He now lives near Stone Mountain, Georgia.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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