A picture says a thousand words

I look at this picture and I wonder what happened to athletes like Tommie Smith and John Carlos.  I understand that it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice to compete in the Olympics, but is there ever a chance where doing the right thing is more important than your dreams?  These men faced a huge backlash when they returned to the United States; Their families received death threats. 

There are many black Olympic athletes in this year’s Olympics and not one has said anything about China’s involvement or role in the Darfur situation. 

Should Olympic athletes show some form of protest against countries that contribute to human rights violations?  Do you think that Tommie Smith and John Carlos protest at the Olympics in 1968 was the right place to demonstrate?  Should athletes take a stand on issues that they feel are important?  Or should they keep their beliefs and convictions separate and away from sports?


4 Responses

  1. I am anxious to hear what they say when they come back. I remember hearing a while back about how major media outlets agreed to China surveying any content that was coming out of there. I wonder if that is affecting their comments. I wonder how big of a life outside of training many of these athletes have though. Do you think they are that informed about everything going on?

  2. personally, i think there is a huge difference in protesting ones own nation and protesting a foreign host nation. You dont go to someones house to insult them.

    Smith and Carlos, however, were powerful and poignant and, at least in my view from it long after the event, respectful. They addressed the hypocrisy of their own nation. they did it effectively and elegantly.

    That action and picture is still deeply riveting today.

  3. I saw a TV show interviewing Tommie Smith. They lost their medals. They were blacklisted and spent years unemployed and struggling. The punishment far outweighed the offence.

    I don’t know if it was the right thing to do – probably. I don’t like the idea of bringing an internal struggle to the Olympics; but what civil rights opponents were doing was criminal, evil, and obscene.

  4. no one should have particpated in these olympics… due to darfur -and- chinese persecution of fal-lon-gon (however you spell it) worshipers. people are bring taken from their homes, and having their organs harvested while they are alive and UNSEDATED.

    then again, if we would have protested, where would our lead-laced barbie dolls come from???

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