John Carlos Inducted Into Us Track And Field Hall Of Fame

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, Nov 25 (AFP) - John Carlos, whojoined Tommie Smith in a poignant podium protest againstracism during the 1968 Olympics, was among four peoplenamed Tuesday to the United States Track and Field Hallof Fame.
The 58-year-old retired sprinter will join Mary DeckerSlaney and 400-meter stars Mike Larrabee and Larry Jameswhen USA Track and Field, based here, holds an inductionceremony December 5 at meetings in Greensboro, NorthCarolina.
I think it's something I deserve based on facts andfigures and it's an honor to be there with your peers,''said Carlos, whose class will boost total membership inthe honor group to 196. US athletics officials will consider a lifetime dopingban for first-time steroid doping offenses at the samemeeting, a move that comes with a new wave of dopingpositives for newly discovered designer steroid’’ THG.
But even such a punishment would not be asgroundbreaking as the courageous protest from Smith inCarlos at the Mexico City Olympics 35 years ago afterSmith won the 200 meters and Carlos placed third.
In a year that saw the assassination of US civilrights leader Martin Luther King Jnr and presidentialcandidate Robert Kennedy, Carlos and Smith made a standagainst American racism.
During the playing of the American anthem, Smith andCarlos bowed their heads and raised their fists in aBlack Power'' salute. The US Olympic Committeeimmediately threw them off the team, but their actbecame legendary. We had concern for people of color, in the UnitedStates, as well as throughout the world,’’ Carlos toldUSA Track and Field.
We had a specific concern for black people becausewe were black people and we knew the trials andtribulations of black people here in the United States. So we wanted to set the record straight by thatdemonstration to let America know that we would nolonger accept the blind call that you’ve given us - toalways be on the frontline in the wars and represent youin the Olympic Games, and to do the menial chores whenyou need us there to do them, and then tell us thatwe’re second-class citizens when it came to employment,housing, education, political endeavors and what haveyou.
We just told them enough is enough, and you can nolonger fool the world anymore because we put it outthere for everyone to see to make their own judgments. All we said is that it’s a shame that America can’trealize what the Constitution says and it can’t realizewhat the Pledge of Allegiance says, and it seemed thatthey didn’t have meaning for all of its citizens. Wewanted people to know that we were young individuals andwe did not have blinders on.
In time, anybody doing the right thing will beproven correct. It's just a matter of whether you canweather the storm.'' Carlos, a former 200m world record holder, playedAmerican football for one year and Canadian football fortwo but has been a high school counselor at PalmSprings, California, for the past 18 years. Carlos recalls his legendary US civil rights role as aduty thrust upon him by the times and the moment morethan the desire for dissent. These are jobs that were set out in time by God forus to do and then we just rose to the occasion once webecame very clear in our minds as to what jobs we had todo, and the rest is history,’’ Carlos said.
``Our job was to take people to higher ground and opentheir eyes to things that maybe they closed their eyesto - such as love, respect and admiration.’’
Decker Slaney, 45, was the 1983 women’s 1,500m and3,000m world champion. She set 36 American records,including every event from 800m to 10,000m.
James, 55, won the 400m silver medal and a gold medalin the 4x400m relay at the 1968 Olympic Games in MexicoCity.
Larrabee, who died on April 22 at age 69, made anamazing comeback to win the 400m gold medal at the 1964Tokyo Olympics and was also a gold medalist in the mens4x400m relay at Tokyo.