On this day in 1968, U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised Black power fists during the medal ceremony at the Olympic Games, making history with one of the most memorable moments in sports and American history. During a time when black Americans faced severe racial inequality and the same year Dr. King was assassinated.
Smith and Carlos took a stand for Black lives. However, more than 50 years later athletes such as Colin Kaepernick who decided to take a knee during the national anthem at the 49ers’ final 2016 preseason game or LeBron James would have you believe they are fighting for the same type of political change, but they aren’t.
Today African Americans are better educated, have better wages, and even the rate of poverty has declined since Smith and Carlos raised their fists. However, Kaepernick who has earned millions from his contact with Nike without having to set foot on a football field or LeBron James who is worth $480 million dollars continue to lie about the brutality of the police against African Americans.
Kaepernick is allegedly protesting police brutality against African Americans but the data shows in a report by the DOJ done every three years called the Police-public contact survey no evidence of institutional racism was found. Researchers from Arizona State and Michigan State have found in a study no anti-Black disparities in fatal shootings. Don’t forget about the National Crime Victimization Survey where 35% of people name a black assailant which matches up with the percentage of black men arrested.
The false narrative of police murdering unarmed blacks that is being perpetuated by athletes such as Lebron James and Colin Kaepernick has no basis in fact. The Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t care about black lives and maybe neither do the athletes who push these falsehoods.