Tommie Smith changed his life in 1968, when he participated in a protest showing his support for the plight of African-Americans. He was kicked out of the Olympic village and off the US Olympic track team. He was treated poorly for much of his adult life for the decision he made to protest treatment of African-Americans. Now, many have forgotten his act of defiance, but the cost was real to Tommie Smith and his family.
In a thoughtful response to questions from Gary Anderson regarding the new Anti-Gay laws in Russia, Tommie Smith reminds the reader that acts of defiance have real, personal costs.
Responses to the Anti-Gay laws in Russia, which are supported, per surveys, by 80 percent of the Russia people, have gone for talks of boycotts of Sochi 2014, to boycotts of various Olympic sponsors products, to boycotts of possible Russian vodkas.
Tommie Smith, the American who raced to gold in the 200 metres at Mexico City 1968 before famously performing the Black Power salute, has said that athletes have a choice to make at Sochi 2014 regarding the controversial anti-gay laws introduced by the Russian Government.