Obama Gives Shout-Out to 1968 'Black Power' Olympians in White House Ceremony

“It woke folks up and created greater opportunity for those who followed.”

During a White House ceremony honoring the 2016 US Olympic Team, President Obama saluted 1968 Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the pair who infamously raised their fists in a "Black Power" salute on the medal podium during the National Anthem to protest racial injustice.

“Their powerful silent protest in the 1968 Games was controversial, but it woke folks up,” Obama said. “And created greater opportunity for those who followed.”

As Mediaite reports, Smith and Carlos were on hand at the ceremony and received a round of applause, hoots and whistles when they were introduced by the President (at the 11:55 mark above), who called them "legendary. We're proud of them."

Obama also praised the 2016 US Olympic Team, of course, particularly "America’s women Olympians,” including multi-gold medal winners gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Katie Ledecky.

“Y’all crushed it,” said Obama, who was in full "entertainer" mode throughout the event.

Watch the complete ceremony above, if you can stomach watching Obama revel in being the center of attention.

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