Tuesday, July 12, 2016

John Carlos

"Not every young white individual would have the gumption, the nerve, the backbone, to stand there," he said. John Carlos recounted the conversation they had before going out for the medal ceremony. They asked Peter Norman if he believed in human rights. He said he did. They asked him if he believed in God. Norman, who came from a Salvation Army background, said he believed strongly in God.

"We knew that what we were going to do was far greater than any athletic feat. He said, 'I'll stand with you'." Carlos said he expected to see fear in Norman's eyes. He didn't. "I saw love."

"Peter never flinched [on the dais]. He never turned his eyes, he never turned his head. He never said so much as 'ouch'.

1968 Olympics, Mexico.
Photo by John Dominis

As reported by Martin Flanagan, Sydney Morning Herald, after Peter Norman's funeral services, Melbourne, Australia, October 10, 2006. Tommie Smith and John Carlos were pallbearers at Peter Norman's funeral.