Happy to Legendary John Wesley Carlos

0 Posted by - August 6, 2021 - BLACK POWER, SPORTS


John Wesley Carlos is a former track and field athlete and professional football player. After winning the bronze medal in the 200 meters at the 1968 Summer Olympics, his Black Power salute on the podium with Tommie Smith caused much political controversy. He went on to tie the world record in the 100-yard dash and beat the 200 meters world record (although the latter achievement was never ratified).

After his track career, he enjoyed brief stints in the NFL and Canadian Football League but retired due to injury.

He became involved with the United States Olympic Committee and helped to organize the 1984 Summer Olympics. Following this, he became a track coach at Palm Springs High School. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2003.

Along with sportswriter Dave Zirin, he is the author of The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World, published in 2011 by Haymarket Books.

Legacy and Honors:
✊In 2005, a statue showing John Carlos and Tommie Smith on the medal stand was constructed by political artist Rigo 23 and dedicated on the campus of San Jose State University.

✊In 2007, John Carlos was honored at the Trumpet Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Carlos is the godfather of Chicago White Sox General Manager, Kenny Williams. Carlos and Williams’ father ran track together in college.

✊In April 2008, John Carlos was a torchbearer for the Human Rights Torch, which ran in parallel to the 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay. The aim was to focus attention on China’s human rights record.

✊On July 16, 2008, John Carlos and Tommie Smith accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for their salute at the ESPY Awards held at NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, California.

✊On October 10, 2011, John Carlos spoke and raised his fist at Occupy Wall Street. He said “Today I am here for you. Why? Because I am you. We’re here 43 years later because there’s a fight still to be won. This day is not for us but for our children to come.” The following day, he appeared on MSNBC and on Current TV’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann

In Pop Culture:
✊The best-selling 1974 album Livet är en fest by Swedish progg band Nationalteatern includes a song titled “Mr. John Carlos,” which depicts the events at the medal award ceremony and subsequent hardships.

✊An airbrush mural of the trio on podium exists in the Sydney suburb of Newtown. Silvio Offria, who allowed an artist known only as “Donald” to paint the mural on his house, said Norman came to Newtown to see the mural before he died in 2006. “He came and had his photo taken, he was very happy.”

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