Olympic Gold Medalist Tommie Smith on How ‘With Drawn Arms’ Affirms Athletes’ Right to Protest and His Own Legacy

  • Variety
Olympic Gold Medalist Tommie Smith on How ‘With Drawn Arms’ Affirms Athletes’ Right to Protest and His Own Legacy
After more than 50 years, Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter Tommie Smith shared the full story behind his raised-fist salute atop the podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in the documentary “With Drawn Arms” — and, by doing so, offers a greater insight into the meaning behind his silent protest and its aftermath.

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, CAA hosted a virtual conversation with Smith and filmmakers Afshin Shahidi and Glenn Kaino. The film — which is among the 240 projects that have qualified for the Oscars Best Documentary Feature race — details the legacy of Smith’s fist-raising gesture after winning the gold medal in the 200 meter race, reflecting on the domino effect his protest had both personally and on the next generation of athlete activists, like Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe (both of whom are featured in the doc).

“It feels great to be part of a group of people, of the younger generation,
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