Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton put his head down and raised his fist in the air after scoring a touchdown on Sunday against the New England Patriots. After bringing his hand down, Newton proceeded to do his infamous "Superman" celebration, and returned to the sidelines with his team. The gesture comes at a time when NFL players are speaking out more and more with political statements and immediately evokes the memory of Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists at the Summer Olympics.
The first time i noticed myself clenching my fist was when i was visualizing myself fighting with someone. Later on i found myself doing that move in the gym whenever i was about to lift a heavy weight. So what exactly does that gesture mean and why does it appear in situations that might seem different or unrelated?
This day would be remembered forever by viewers, reporters, and Olympic officials not because Smith set a world record with a time of This event is remembered because, upon receiving their medals, Smith and Carlos each donned a black glove and, in an attempt to show solidarity and resistance in the face of a number of human rights violations, raised their gloved fists while the national anthem played. This site of memory, this gesture—the raising of a closed fist as a sign of black power —did not develop organically within the context of the Olympics. While the gesture became associated almost exclusively with the black power movement and resistance from unfair policies and unwarranted biases that the black community experienced, the fist has a long, somewhat unclear history.
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When Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood atop the medal podium at the Summer Games in Mexico City, bowed their heads and raised black-gloved fists during the playing of the national anthem, millions of their fellow Americans were outraged. But countless millions more around the globe thrilled to the sight of two men standing before the world, unafraid, expressing disillusionment with a nation that so often fell, and still falls, so short of its promise. They were suspended from the U.
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A raised fist in the air by a Black Lives Matter activist during a Los Angeles Police Commission meeting Tuesday was met with a rebuke from the chair of the civilian panel that oversees the police department, prompting cries of protest, a call to recess and ultimately an arrest. As Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck was speaking about crime statistics, several activists in the audience turned their backs to the chief in a sign of protest that has become commonplace at these meetings. Police Commission President Steve Soboroff warned the woman he believed was initiating the chants to stop the disruption.
A national debate about race and proper military behavior broke out this week after sixteen African-American West Point cadets posed with raised fists for a pre-graduation picture. An inquiry at the academy found the cadets didn't violate any existing military rules that limit political activity. But the fists-up image led some to question if the woman expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which is rooted in protests over what critics say is the excessive use of police force against African-American men.