The message in the image was powerful - expressed peacefully without violence, hate or weapons. Tommie Smith (USA - gold), Peter Norman (Australia - silver) & John Carlos (USA - bronze) were making a stand for civil & human rights. As the Star-Spangled Banner began to play, Smith & Carlos bowed their heads & raised their gloved fists for the duration of the anthem. Norman joined his fellow African American athletes and wore the same badge of support that Smith & Carlos donned - the ‘Olympic Project for Human Rights’ badge.
This powerful & much-needed stand, played out on a public stage for the world to see, cost these three elite athletes dearly. Their personal expression for civil & human rights in the US, South Africa, Australia & across the globe, changed their lives forever. Their brave and passionate act highlighted a global struggle and gave a voice to millions around the world - for the length of the anthem. Those two minutes on the podium bought Smith, Norman & Carlos a lifetime of their own grief from governments, the public, haters with death threats, the feds & the media… just because they believed in equal rights for all.