Greater than a half-century later, Tommie Smith and John Carlos are cemented into Olympic lore — their names enshrined within the Olympic Corridor of Fame in the USA, their portrait an indelible fixture on the common sports activities panorama.
As for that raised-fist salute that remodeled them into Olympic icons, whereas additionally symbolizing the ability athletes possess for the quick time they’re on their greatest stage — it is nonetheless forbidden.
Such was the warning this month within the announcement by the IOC, whose athletes’ fee banned kneeling and hand gestures throughout medals ceremonies and competiton. It is all a part of an try and tamp down political demonstrations at this summer time’s Tokyo Video games.
IOC athlete’s rep Kirsty Coventry portrayed the steerage as a method to supply some readability on a difficulty that has confounded each athletes and authorities for many years.
The IOC received its atheltes’ fee, which has typically contradicted key athlete actions in different Olympic areas, to get out entrance on the difficulty and supply its recommendation. It was primarily no completely different from what the IOC itself has been touting for years. Not surprisingly, some view it as an out-of-touch, retrograde try and stifle an more and more outspoken era of athletes.
The mushrooming of reside TV, to say nothing of the retailers now accessible on social media, has empowered athletes — the very best examples from latest years could be Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe, however there are dozens extra — to make use of sports activities to ship a message.
Rapinoe’s response to the IOC announcement: “We won’t be silenced.” As a lot as her play, Rapinoe’s outspoken battle for equal pay for the U.S. girls’s soccer staff underscored the American victory within the World Cup final yr and made…