Racial Protests in Sports a Brief History

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Throughout the past few months, the American people have become all too familiar with the protest of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick protesting the national anthem during his football games. This black celebrity news shocked Americans nationwide, as he was one of the only African American sports players to protest against the current news surrounding police violence against black individuals across the country.

Kaepernick has had his share of support and controversy, and everyone from his young fans to President Barack Obama have spoken out on his actions. President Obama has commended Kaepernick for speaking out on his first amendment right, but there have been many a police and veterans union who have claimed Kaepernick doesn’t understand that his right to protest was given to him by the lives of many who died fighting for our country.

However, Kaepernick has not been the only athlete to take advantage of their fame and take a stand against social injustices. Here are a few examples of athletes who have spoken up against what they think is wrong.

1906 Olympics

While this may not be the latest celebrity news, but back in 1906 Irish long jumper Peter O’Connor protested after his second-place finish was celebrated with the raising of the British flag. So, he scaled the flag pole and proudly waved his Irish flag while teammate Con Leahy guarded him at the bottom.

1968 Olympics

African American runners John Carlos and Tommie Smith famously used their bronze and gold wins to salute the Black Panther Party up on the stand. They both wore black gloves and stuck their fists in the air during the playing of the national anthem. This action outraged Olympic officials and got them both suspended from the U.S. team.

Muhammad Ali

Ali made headlines in black celebrity news back in 1967 when he refused to enlist in the Vietnam War. He was a devout Muslim at the time, and refused to enter because war is against the teachings of the Muslim Holy Book, the Koran. When he refused to step forward when his name was called for induction to the U.S. Army, Ali was then stripped of his heavyweight title and was prohibited from boxing ever again. However, in 1971 the Supreme Court reversed his convictions.

Now, with Colin Kaepernick history continues with athletes taking a stand against racial injustice.

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May 2024