From time to time, HepsTrack will wander off course to share stories that maybe only HepsTrack Headquarters care about.
In this case, researching the USATF’s release on the 2011 inductees into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, I was reminded that one of the honored — Vince Matthews — was barred from running in the 1972 Munich Games 4×400-meter relay for participating in a ‘disgusting display’ on the podium after winning the 400m dash.
I had read about this before, but never recalled seeing it… until tonight. I did a simple YouTube search and was pleased to see that someone in Germany dumped a lot of the footage of the Munich Games onto the website in 2009, including the offending podium display from Matthews and silver medalist Wayne Collett.
Collett was more vocal about the protest than Matthews. In his 2010 New York Times’ obituary, Collett was reported to have addressed it many times. “I couldn’t stand there and sing the words because I don’t believe they’re true … I believe we have the potential to have a beautiful country, but I don’t think we do.”
In 2002, he told The L.A. Times: “I love America. I just don’t think it’s lived up to its promise. I’m not anti-American at all. To suggest otherwise is to not understand the struggles of blacks in America at the time.”
Below is the clip: