Berlin (AP) - Olympic champion Tommie Smith, whose black power gesture from 1968 became the symbol of protest in the sport against racism, welcomes the expressions of solidarity from the Bundesliga after the violent death of the African American George Floyd.

"I am very happy to hear that," said Smith (76) of "Bild am Sonntag" about the protests last week from Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund) and Marcus Thuram (Borussia Mönchengladbach). This weekend there were again similar actions on the courses, including in Dortmund and Leverkusen.

«You obviously understood that George Floyd also represents you. It represents a system that needs help, »said the former world-class athlete. «A global system of love and solidarity that is also threatened by political leaders. It takes a lot of people to protect and strengthen this system. And to overthrow those who want to poison it. »

On October 16, 1968, Smith had raised his gloved fist to the sky with his third-placed compatriot John Carlos (75) at the awards ceremony for the 200-meter race of the Olympic Games in Mexico. The gesture is one of the most distinctive symbols in sports history.