Sports Illustrated: Not So Revolutionary Back ThenS

Ha, noted radical political journal Sports Illustrated is running these ads in South Africa insinuating that SI is very, you know, radical, and political. A big black panther for the '68 Olympics, Fight the Power! How did SI really cover that story? We will show you!

Sports Illustrated: Not So Revolutionary Back ThenS

Yes well there is a black fellow on the cover, I suppose. Here's the magazine's actual, revolutionary reporting of Tommie Smith and John Carlos' iconic black power salute on the medal podium:

Beyond Mexican riots and Mexican altitude, the third and what should have been one of the more obvious threats to Olympic peace was the likelihood of a demonstration by a small group of American Negro athletes led by John Carlos, Tommie Smith and Lee Evans. They had been hinting at it for months but communication between them and the U.S. Olympic officials broke down long ago, and the officials seemed satisfied to fill the void with a kind of tacit, Pollyanna belief in the surfacing power of harmony.

The Olympic 100 meters passed without incident because Jim Hines was the winner and Hines does not buy all that the militants try to sell. Then Smith won the 200. He won it in courageous style. He had torn a groin muscle in the semifinals and had to be iced down and taped from the waist to the bottom edge of his running shorts in order to continue. In the final, two hours later, Carlos held the lead with 50 yards to go. At that point, as he is wont to do when on the verge of victory, Carlos looked around. He need not have bothered. Smith, settling down in the stretch, was streaking past him. Carlos broke stride, and then when he looked to his right the Australian Peter Norman was passing him for second place. It was a fine race, one that Smith could be proud of, but he will not be remembered for his 19.8. He will be remembered for what happened next.

On the victory stand during the playing of the national anthem, Carlos and Smith made their now famous black glove gesture. They were booed. At a press conference afterward Carlos flayed into white America in a familiar soliloquy, demanding as he did that reporters quote him accurately or not at all.

Advertising: Bullshit as usual.

[Ads from Copyranter. The original SI story here.]