Athlete Upstanders & the Role of Activism in Sports | Facing History & Ourselves
American track and field athletes Tommie Smith (C) and John Carlos (R), first and third place winners in the 200 meter race, protest with the Black Power salute as they stand on the winner's podium at the Summer Olympic games, Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 1968. Australian silver medalist Peter Norman stands by.
Community Event

Athlete Upstanders & the Role of Activism in Sports

Dr. Tommie Smith, Olympic gold medalist and renowned activist, and other acclaimed athlete activists discuss the long history of activism in sports.



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Cost:  Free
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From breaking long-standing color barriers to the Black Lives Matter movement, there is a long history of sports activism in pursuit of racial justice. For the athlete upstanders who lead these movements, however, there is also a long history of backlash and public opposition.

This timely conversation, featuring Olympic gold medalist and renowned activist Dr. Tommie Smith, retired NBA athlete and member of the Memphis Grizzlies ownership team Elliot Perry, and retired athlete and WNBA executive Bethany Donaphin, will connect historical sports activism to modern day protests and ask what we can all learn from the athlete activists who choose to take a stand.

This is the fifth installment in the year-long Facing History Now: Conversations on Equity and Justice virtual event series.


Dr. Tommie Smith

Headshot of Dr. Tommie Smith

Bethany Donaphin

Headshot of Bethany Donaphin against a grey background

Elliot Perry

Black and white headhsot of Elliott Perry

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