Olympian in '68 Black Power Salute to Sell Medal

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Tommie Smith is selling the gold medal he won at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, where his Black Power salute on the podium shocked the sports world.

American sprinter Tommie Smith, center, and teammate John Carlos, right, raise their black-gloved hands while on the medal stand during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. The action, meant to draw attention to civil rights issues in the U.S., caused both athletes to be suspended from the team.

San Jose, CA (AP) - Tommie Smith is selling the gold medal
he won at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, where his Black Power
salute on the podium shocked the sports world.
The former San Jose State runner has put his gold medal for the
200 meters and spikes up for auction at New York-based M.I.T.
Memorabilia. The bid starts at $250,000, and the sale is scheduled
to close Nov. 4.
The 66-year-old Smith, who now lives in Georgia, declined
comment to the San Jose Mercury News.
M.I.T.'s Gary Zimet says Smith is selling the medal for the
money but also because he wants to share it with the public.
Smith won the 200 in world-record time, then was expelled from
the Games along with bronze medalist John Carlos when they bowed
their heads during the Star-Spangled Banner and raised their
black-gloved fists in protest. The human rights protest eventually
earned Smith and Carlos international acclaim.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by it's a shame on Oct 14, 2010 at 10:43 AM
    It's a shame when people who are gifted with such athletic abilities take it upon themselves to make stupid political statements like this one was. I would be curious to know if he has any regrets for doing it. I hope he receives no bids. This was done not to draw attention to civil rights issues, Black Power was associated with the Black Panthers which was associated with nothing but violence. Shame on him and the other moron that did this. Disgraceful...
  • by GV Location: Ga on Oct 14, 2010 at 10:31 AM
    What he did was so great that they honored him for it by suspending him from the team.
  • by Cows Rule Location: Lovett, FL on Oct 14, 2010 at 09:27 AM
    Gus I know from your previous posts on this site that there is little chance of removing the blinders clued to the side of your head. But here goes; what exactly is he a traitor of??? Do you even know anything about this man, his education and all the good he has done? It's people like you who think they are taking a stand but are actually showing their ignorance of the facts.
  • by gus Location: tally on Oct 14, 2010 at 08:09 AM
    Please, if it wasnt for him being an American, he would have never had the chance do make his statement against his country, or would have never lived afterwards. He is a traitor and should have been dealt that way.
  • by Cows Rule Location: Lovett, FL on Oct 14, 2010 at 07:19 AM
    I remember this event and have to say I'm proud to be able to walk the same planet as this man. He's an old school activist with a long life of helping and educating to make things better for all. I have nothing but respect for him, his life and his work.
  • by Common Sense Location: Tally on Oct 14, 2010 at 06:45 AM
    People, before you stand in judgement of Mr. Smith, think about the ideals this country was built upon. Think about the oppression this race has to deal with. These guys had every right to express themselves!
  • by John Location: Summerville SC on Oct 14, 2010 at 06:21 AM
    As an athlete and retired military man it always pains me to see great American athletes in the Olympics misusing our proud flag and in this case disrespecting our National Anthem.
  • by James Location: Tally on Oct 14, 2010 at 06:13 AM
    If he is wanting to share it with the public, as he claims, then why is he SELLING it instead of DONATING IT? This is all about the money. I hope no one bids on them, especially at that price. And "Broke as a joke" is probably very true. Let him keep his medal, his actions were a disgrace to this whole nation. Bury him with it, he deserves it. I have NO pity, at all, for him.
  • by Danno Location: Tally on Oct 14, 2010 at 06:07 AM
    Some of the comments posted so far just go to show that the point that these athletes were trying to make is, unfortunately, still very much valid today.
  • by Johnboy Location: Tallahassee on Oct 14, 2010 at 05:15 AM
    A strong statement by a proud black man--very inspirational to me at the time.
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