John Carlos and Tommie Smith

Sport (Years Played): Track and Field (1968)
Usually, the Olympics are a time when all the world's problems cease to exist for a short while. But after winning the gold and bronze medals for the 200 meter-dash, John Carlos and Tommie Smith used their time on the podium to address an issue that would not go away: the racial injustices blacks were facing in America. With a simple black power salute, Carlos and Smith were immediately suspended from the U.S. Olympic team and received death threats once they returned home. Years later they're regarded as American heros. Progression is a beautiful thing.