Just around the corner is the highly anticipated launch of PUMA’s Black History Month Pack. PUMA’s vision is to celebrate black history month the way only PUMA can; as an authentic expression of style, rooted in their rebellious sports past, present, and future. What’s not only interesting, but inspiring, is the story behind the 2016 BHM collection, as it draws images from a truly historical moment in sports history!
Let’s take it back to the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. American Tommie Smith just made history by winning the 200 meter sprint with a world-record time of 19.83 seconds. Australia’s Peter Norman finished second with a time of 20.06 seconds, and the United States’ John Carlos won third place with a time of 20.10 seconds. At the medal ceremony, Smith and Carlos removed their PUMA Suedes before stepping onto the podium in black socks to represent poverty and slavery. The athletes shared other messages through their attire, as Smith draped a black scarf around his neck to symbolize black pride and Carlos wore his tracksuit top unzipped to show solidarity with the blue-collar workers in the United States.
Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos (right) accept their Olympic medals with fists raised via Associated Press
Fists raised via PUMA
Most iconically, the two Americans each wore a black glove and raised their fists in the air “to stand up for human rights and to stand up for black Americans.” Although they were booed as they left the stadium, at a press conference after the event, Smith said, “If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say ‘a Negro’. We are black and we are proud of being black…Black America will understand what we did tonight.” With that gesture, Tommie Smith altered the course of history and dedicated his life to change. PUMA’s BHM Pack prominently features Tommie Smith’s silhouette, with fist raised, honoring a legacy on the track and off.
Black Suede BHM Jersey via PUMA
Suede BHM Statement via PUMA
Sky II HI BHM Jersey via PUMA
The collection which launches February 5, features sport-inspired details, Smith’s emblazoned silhouette, and bold graphic prints, making this collection stand out. Included in the PUMA BHM Pack are the black suede BHM Jersey, black suede BHM Statement High Risk, and the Sky 11 HI BHM Jersey sneakers as well as some graphic tees, joggers, and hoodies. Visit ShiekhShoes.com on the 5th to shop the looks!