It is arguably one of the most powerful images from the Olympics, and certainly one of the most powerful photographs of the past century. In Mexico City's 1968 Summer Games, an Olympics already fraught with controversy over Civil Rights, two African-American medalists (John Carlos, Tommie Smith) and the Australian (Peter Norman) who stood with them, made a gesture that rocked the IOC, ended their athletic careers and changed the world.
The Civil Rights movement is very near and dear to my heart, as are the Olympics. The fact that pre-civil-rights era anti-miscegnation laws in the United States would have prevented my marriage to my wonderful Pacific Islander husband....since mixed race couples were considered "detrimental-to-children", "detrimental to society", "unnatural", "traitorous" and "unholy" and "against the bible" (sound familiar, folks?)...has never been lost on me.
And it is why when the Russian Federation announced today that athletes in next year's 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi would be barred from advocating any gay causes, the first thing I thought of was the infamous "Black Fist". Just as there were a large number of black athletes in 1968, there are going to be a large number of gay athletes competing in Sochi.
Sure, Sochi. Good luck with that.
How things change. They are wrong to try and ban "gay" from the Olympics.
Judgmental assholes are silly. Maybe I'm just lazy, but it takes far too much effort to hate on people for something as petty as sexual orientation or skin color.
Damn straight, you tell 'em!
I always laugh when someone claims the Olympics are not political
Russia needs to come out of the 10th century >>. I think Putin's latent homosexuality has something to do with it.
This will be exciting to see play out.
Go, Pen! Good for you! I lived thru segregation in the South, grew up with it, as it was brought to the forefront. We have moved little, really. The American public are, perhaps, further apart now than ever. There remains hate and crime against persons because of their color or sexual preference. There is hate crime upon black, red, white, yellow and gay. The most talked about is, of course, that rested upon black persons. The truth is that American Indians, Caucasians and Orientals are targeted daily by persons of many races for being a different color. Gay persons have long had to hide for fear of retribution. Until the hate and fear are really addressed and some measure of tolerance is achieved in this country and the world, there is little hope of change. Poverty, ignorance, hunger, anger, fear and many other things contribute. I will never stop working to quell the discrimination I encounter, but if we don't start working in earnest together as one, there will be only worsening of the situation. Next to hunger, this is the biggest problem in our country and world today. Both could be completely eliminated in our lifetime.