Sports can be a force for behavioural change in society
Sports-folks should take up the cause of fighting drug addiction and exercise their mass influence
In 1968, six months after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, during the medal ceremony for the 200-metre race at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City, gold medallist Tommie Smith and bronze medallist John Carlos stepped up to the podium to receive their medals. Neither men was wearing shoes. Smith wore a black scarf around his neck. As the US national anthem played, they bowed their heads and raised gloved fists. Their black socks and no shoes represented African-American poverty, while the gloves symbolized African-American strength and unity. That “Black power salute" of Smith and Carlos provided much fuel to the civil rights movement. Many a time, sports has not been about sports performance alone.