The iconic story of the three sprinters Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Peter Norman and the protest at Mexico City 1968 Olympic, which is regarded as one of the landmarks of the 20th century, kicks off the "Champions of Equity" campaign through which AC Milan is showcasing the stories of sports personalities and athletes who have made a significant contribution to promoting tolerance and inclusion at an international level.
The initiative, that will kick off on April 3, ahead of the match AC Milan v. Sampdoria, is part of the wider RESPACT manifesto for equity, diversity and inclusion, launched by the Club at the end of last year and implementing the long-term vision of the Club that has always been committed to sharing the positive values of sport to mitigate all forms of prejudice and discrimination. In particular, the communication campaign will go live during AC Milan home matches on the Club's digital and social media channels, as well as at the Stadium (on sideline LEDs and on the mega-screen).
The "Champions of Equity" initiative is included in one of the four pillars of the RESPACT Manifesto through which the Club wants to raise awareness on socially relevant issues and topics leveraging on its global platform and on the popularity of its brand. The initiative falls in the Raise Awareness pillar that, together with Education, Prevention and Collaboration set out the Manifesto aimed at driving collaboration across the key stakeholders of the world of football - starting from the new generation of fans - in order to build social culture and awareness in the name of inclusivity, openness and responsibility.
THE STORY OF TOMMIE SMITH, JOHN CARLOS AND PETER NORMAN MORE THAN 50 YEARS AFTER THE HISTORIC PODIUM AT MEXICO CITY 1968 OLYMPIC GAMES
On 16 October 1968, African American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos finished first and third in the men's 200-meter race at the Olympic Games in Mexico City. Smith set the new world record (19.83 seconds) despite suffering a tendon injury. He also run the last 10 meters with his arms up in the sky. Carlos ranked third behind Australian Peter Norman. The gold and bronze medalists took their places on the podium wearing human rights badges and black socks without shoes, lowered their heads and each defiantly raised a black-gloved fist. A sensational act of protest in favour of human rights. International Olympic Committee (IOC) immediately suspended Smith and Carlos from the US team and banned them from the Olympic Village as it deemed the protest to be a political statement unfit for Olympic Games. Peter Norman, the Australian sprinter who came second in the 200 m race, also wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge during the medal ceremony. Upon their return to the United States, Smith and Carlos faced extensive criticism and received threats and intimidation. Norman was ostracized by Australian media and he was not sent to the 1972 games, despite achieving the qualifying time. The US athletics federation has declared October 9, the date of his funeral in 2006, Peter Norman Day. Smith and Carlos greeted their friend for the last time at his funeral, holding up his coffin.
TOMMIE SMITH, JOHN CARLOS AND PETER NORMAN CHAMPIONS OF EQUITY. #WERESPACT