John Wesley Carlos 

John Carlos (cropped)
John Carlos
John Wesley Carlos is a former Olympic Track athlete and professional football player was born on June 5, 1945.  John Carlos and Tommie Smith created political controversy at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games.  While receiving their medals on the Olympic podium, Carlos and Smith raised the “Black Power Salute” while wearing no shoes to symbolize poverty in Black America.

John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Peter Norman 1968cr
John Carlos (right) and Tommie Smith (center) with the raised fist on the podium after the 200 m race at the 1968 Summer Olympics; they wore Olympic Project for Human Rights badges. Peter Norman (silver medalist, left) from Australia also wore an OPHR badge in solidarity with Smith and Carlos.

Tommie Smith said of their political stand “If I win, I am an 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.”  Carlos and Smith were honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPY Awards in 2008.