Advertisement

Peter Norman, The Silver Medalist In The Famous Black Power Olympics Salute Photo, Was Actually Pretty Heroic Too

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Wow. Pretty amazing story. It turns out the silver medalist in that iconic photo, Peter Norman, was actually a pretty vocal proponent of equality. Not only that, but he placed second in that race, so clearly he could fly.  Most people assume that he won the bronze because Tommie Smith and John Carlos kinda dominate the photo. But nope, silver medal for the Aussie. Once he heard that Smith and Carlos were going to protest, he provided them with the gloves. It probably would have meant more if he’d raised a fist himself, but you never find packs of gloves that contain 3 gloves. And raising a bare fist would probably have been taken the wrong way, as like a counter-protest. Maybe.

But what’s crazy to me is that Peter Norman was still being punished for his role in the protest as late as 2000. The Australian olympic committee barred him from marching with the team at the 2000 Sydney olympics. That’s fucking LATE, mates. You should be heralding the man for his part in what became THE symbolic image of the civil rights movement. It wasn’t until 2012 that the Australian olympic committee finally apologized for ostracizing him, 6 years after he died. Some good that does.

Advertisement

Reading that Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral nearly had me cutting onions. Fucking amazing story. The guy stood strong for what he believed in, even though it made him a pariah in his own country until his death. Reminds me just how much of a pussy I am.