When dealing with periods of profound protest, it always makes sense to get the point of view of those who’ve been there before. I spoke to Dr. John Carlos, the 1968 Olympian who along with Tommie Smith, raised a black gloved fist at the Mexico City Olympics. This is perhaps the most famous image in sports history. It also made Dr. Carlos an avatar of resistance for an era that shook the foundations of this country. John Carlos knows intimately the price that must be paid to speak truth to power. And as you’ll read, he thinks that the actions of the resistance fighters of the Midwest are more than appropriate: they’re righteous. Here is what Dr. Carlos said to me:
“I don’t think Governor Walker realizes that workers are the people who built this country and workers are the people who keep the fabric of our communities together. Workers are the people of the grassroots. For him or any political figure to try and cut their wages, take their health care, crush their unions or subjugate them in any way is just a travesty. And if he really, like I heard on that prank phone call, was thinking of sending disrupters and plants into the protesters, which could have caused people and even children serious harm… well that would be simply despicable. I read that the police might be investigating Scott Walker for those statements and I hope that this is in fact the case. I commend what the workers, students and all protesters are doing to stand up for their rights and I am with them 1000 percent. Every person from the world of sports with a heart or sense of humanity would say the same."