Olympian And Black Power Saluter Tommie Smith Selling Gold Medal
This is just sad to see. ESPN reported that Tommie Smith—the Olympic gold medalist who will forever be remembered for his Black Power salute on the podium at the 1968 Olympics—is selling his gold medal.
The former San Jose State runner has put his gold medal for the 200 meters and spikes up for auction at New York–based M.I.T. Memorabilia. The bid starts at $250,000, and the sale is scheduled to close Nov. 4.
The 66-year-old Smith, who now lives in Georgia, declined comment to the San Jose Mercury News.
M.I.T.’s Gary Zimet says Smith is selling the medal for the money but also because he wants to share it with the public.
I don’t know about you, but I’m figuring it’s more about the money than sharing it with the public because, quite honestly, what does this do for the public? The fact of the matter is, Smith is an icon who will forever be remembered for his efforts in 1968. Individuals such as this shouldn’t be broke or need to sell something so significant to make a living while people like Paris Hilton—who do virtually nothing—remain well off. Call me jaded, but it just isn’t fair. There has to be a way to help Smith keep the gold he rightfully earned.