There are few, if any, more iconic sports photos in the 20th century than that of Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the Black Power salute at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 The two wore black gloves and socks (a protest against racism), no shoes (a protest against poverty), and beads (a protest against lynching).
As he came off the podium to boos, Smith said, "If I win, I am American, not a black American. But if I did something bad, then they would say I am a Negro. We are black and we are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did tonight."
Smith, now 71, speaks to athletes about giving back and having an impact, as Paul Westphal's wife, Cindy, tweeted Tuesday night, Billy King and Lionel Hollins invited him to speak with the Nets on arrival in Atlanta.
Billy King & Lionel Hollins asked Tommie Smith 2 speak 2 the Nets about giving back.Impactful,transcending politics. pic.twitter.com/hSoTmqLw8x— Cindy Westphal (@GrammyWeeze) November 4, 2015
Upon landing in Atlanta,the Nets were introduced 2 Tommie Smith.Most hadn't heard of him,but they know now.Inspired! pic.twitter.com/Rk0qVpMrAb— Cindy Westphal (@GrammyWeeze) November 4, 2015
There were photographs and the tweets, but not much else about the meeting, no discussion of the content of his talk or the players' reaction. The Nets seem to want to make it mostly a private affair.
- Nets Meet Dr. Tommie Smith (Gallery) - Brooklyn Nets