US & World

Tommie Smith: Sports stars ‘afraid’ to take on system


Tommie Smith has told BBC Radio 5 Live that sports stars are afraid to take on the system because they might lose money.

The former 200m athlete, who raised his gloved fist in protest against the treatment of black Americans in 1968, compared that moment to Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the US national anthem at an NFL game.

Smith told Nihal Arthanayake: “People are afraid the more they say about a system that needs cleaning, the less money they are going to make.”

During October 2018, to mark 50 years since Tommie Smith’s iconic protest at the Olympics, 5 Live, 6 Music and 1Xtra are hosting a season on Black Power. Across the networks, we’ll be exploring aspects such as the role of activism in sport and the impact the movement had on music and culture.



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