Tuesday was the 50th anniversary of American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ raised fist salute on the podium at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
To mark the anniversary, PUMA, whose shoes the athletes wore at the Olympics, has launched the #THIRDSALUTE social media campaign, which aims to raise money and awareness for charities promoting universal equality.
Smith, who also played as a wide receiver in the American Football League, won the 200-meter sprint gold medal, becoming the first human to break the 20-second barrier in an official race. Carlos took bronze.
After receiving their medals, Smith and Carlos bowed their heads and raised their fists in silence, a gestured widely considered a Black Power salute, although Smith has said he considers it a “human rights salute.” The athletes also took off their shoes to protest poverty and wore beads and a scarf to protest lynchings.
As the US national anthem played, the crowd started to boo the athletes and yell the anthem. Many commentators voiced their disapproval at the sprinters politicizing the Olympics.
Fifty years on, it is now considered one of the most iconic and symbolic moments in sporting history and the African-American struggle for equality.
To mark the anniversary, PUMA has pledged to donate $1 to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for every photo or video posted online featuring the hashtag #THIRDSALUTE, up to $100,000. Several PUMA ambassadors and celebrities have joined in, posting pictures and videos on social media. Check out some of them below.
PUMA hopes the campaign will have a multiplying effect. If you wish to donate yourself, you can do so via the link below.
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