Featured Posts

To top
22 Dec

50 Years Later, Olympics Welcomes Back Black Sprinter Banned

Associated Press / Twitter.com

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has lifted the lifetime ban imposed on American gold medalist sprinter Vince Matthews for his low-key racial injustice protest 50 years ago.

The IOC said that Matthews could be allowed to attend future Olympics, in keeping with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland, The Associated Press reports.

“The IOC sent a letter that does reverse the suspension of Vince Matthews,” Hirshland said. “This is sweet news and a protracted time coming.”

The IOC banned Matthews, now 74, and silver medalist Wayne Collett from the Olympics for all times sooner or later after a protest during their medal ceremony on the Munich Games in 1972. 

During their ceremony, Collett stood along with his hands on his hips because the national anthem played. In response to the AP, Matthews rubbed his goatee while crossing his arms and shifting his feet. This was reportedly done in protest of U.S. civil rights policies. As he and Collett headed for the tunnel, fans booed them. 

The day after the ceremony, the athletes explained why they did it. 

“For possibly six or seven years, I’ve stood at attention while the anthem has been played out, but I just can’t do it with a transparent conscience anymore the best way things are in our country,” Collett said.

“Persons are standing at attention, and so they want you to face at attention, too, and forget the things around you. It’s unimaginable,” Matthews said on the time. 

Collett passed away at age 60 in 2010.

In an email to NBCSports.com last yr, Matthews wrote: “My Olympic participation ended almost 50 years ago.” He continued, “Over time, I even have made a concerted effort to maneuver with a watch toward the longer term. I live by the next quote `When looking back doesn’t interest you anymore, you’re doing the appropriate thing.’ At this point in my life, the appropriate thing is looking/moving forward and never looking backward.”

Brian Lewis, president of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees, was instrumental in keeping the difficulty alive and in front of the IOC. When he learned of Matthews’ reinstatement from the IOC, he tweeted that it was a “positive step.”

Hirshland said the USOPC had not been involved with Matthews for the reason that letter was sent.

Beauty Tips
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.