Toronto

John Carlos, athlete behind iconic Olympic protest, wants more activism in sport

American sprinter John Carlos shocked the world at the 1968 Olympics when he and countryman Tommie Smith stood on the podium and raised their black-gloved fists to the sky in protest.
John Carlos, right, raises his fist alongside Tommie Smith, centre, at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. (OFF/AFP/Getty)
American sprinter John Carlos shocked the world at the 1968 Olympics when he and countryman Tommie Smith stood on the podium and raised their black-gloved fists to the sky in protest.

"We caught everyone by surprise," Carlos to CBC Radio's Metro Morning of his protest against racial injustice.

Today, Carlos is hoping more athletes will follow in his footsteps and use their podium to speak out against societal issues.

"We always have that responsibility because we're not merely posters on a wall as athletes" he said

"We’re human beings. We have social issues that concern us, we're concerned about our kids getting a decent education."

You can hear the entire interview with Carlos in the media clip above.

Carlos is also set to speak at the University of Toronto’s Hart House on Monday night at 6:30 p.m., where there will also be a screening of the documentary Salute: The story behind the image.

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