John Carlos on His Fist-Raising Protest

This former Olympian recalls why he and teammate Tommie Smith donned black gloves at the 1968 Games.

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JC: Brent Musburger is a louse, and I don't care to speak with him. He is going to have to deal with that when he goes before his maker. Between you and I, man, I don't think Musburger is man enough to apologize. It takes a man to make the right move and it showed where he was by the statement he made. He is not even thinking about an apology.

TR: Reports have said that you and Tommie Smith don't get along. What's your relationship with Smith like these days?

JC: I have the utmost honorable love and respect for Tommie Smith. We don't necessarily see eye to eye on how we deal with the issues. But I always respect and admire him for his courage. I don't agree with some things he see or do and he don't necessarily agree with some things that I see or do. But we have honorable respect and love and admiration for one another. We'll have that for eternity. And Peter Norman [Australian runner who won silver that day] as well. Peter is no longer with us in the flesh but I think about him every day.

TR: What's your feeling about the Olympics today? Will you be watching or does it represent a sore spot for you?

JC: Don't get it twisted when I say I'm against the Olympic movement. I'm against the structure of the Olympics. I'm against the power brokers walking away with all the money. I'm for the athletes 100 percent to exploit their talents that God gave them and they perfected and made better to be the best in the world. I don't want no less for their dreams than I had when I was a young individual. But I just want them to realize that it's far greater than just the medal. It's about humanity.

Brett Johnson is The Root's associate editor.

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