SJSU to commemorate 50 years since athletes' Black Power salute at Olympics

- San Jose State University is marking one of the most unforgettable moments in Olympic history this week. 

50 years ago this Tuesday, San Jose State University graduates John Carlos and Tommie Smith put on black gloves and raised their hands in a Black Power salute on the podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. 

They paid a high price for what they did, including being stripped of their gold and bronze medals. 

San Jose State is marking this anniversary with several events, including a panel discussion on using the spotlight of sports to fight for social justice. 

"Sport was never really meant to tear us apart and sport is one of those things that really has been a touchstone, particularly the athlete activism," said Ted Butryn with SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Societal Change. "But I think we can turn that conversation around and the thing that caused us to separate a little bit because of athlete activism in sport… I think, done properly, that can actually bring us back together again."

Both Carlos and Smith are scheduled to speak at San Jose State University Wednesday morning. 
 

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