Tommie Smith
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Tommie Smith: 'Black Power' salute had to be done

The black American sprinter Tommie Smith captured the world's attention with a peaceful but controversial protest delivered at the Mexico Olympics in 1968.

After wining the 200m - where he beat the previous world record by two tenths of a second - he and another competitor, John Carlos, stood on the podium and gave the "Black Power" salute.

Their actions prompted boos from the crowd and the International Olympic committee forced their expulsion from the US Olympic team and banned them from future competitions.

Ahead of the UK cinema release of Salute, a film documenting the event, he explains to Newsnight's Gavin Esler why he did it and the effect it had on his life.

  • 11 Jul 2012