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Black Power icon John Carlos to feature in golf diversity initiative

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Olympic medal-winner and lifelong activist John Carlos will travel to the island this year to promote diversity in golf.

Black Power protest: John Carlos, right, and Tommie Smith in Mexico in 1968

The former American sprinter and professional football player will host the Driving Diversity Power Breakfast at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club on November 3.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos have been made heroes in their later years

The event will feature global community leaders and corporate champions who have broken barriers and shown a commitment to supporting diversity in their respective fields.

Carlos won the bronze medal in the 200 metres at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.

However, his medal-winning exploits on the track were overshadowed by his and team-mate Tommie Smith’s controversial Black Power salute on the podium during the medal ceremony in protest against racism in the United States.

Carlos also won gold in the 200 metres at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, where he later played a season in the Canadian Football League for the Montreal Alouettes after retiring from athletics.

The 76-year-old, who equalled the 100-yard world record of 9.1sec in 1969, was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2003.

The Driving Diversity Power Breakfast forms part of the inaugural Black Golfers Week from November 3 to 7, to held after the PGA Tour Bermuda Championship.

The self-described socially conscious event is one of several taking place, including The Unity Cup; the Legends Lunch & Clinic for the next generation of golfers at Ocean View Golf Course; the PGA Magazine Driving Diversity Summit; a University Greek barbecue; Bermuda Black Golf Club and Team Championship at Port Royal Golf Course; and the Black Golf Awards honouring the legacy of Black golf pioneers from around the globe.

Meanwhile, Black Golfers Week is an initiative to drive diversity in tourism and sporting events while celebrating Bermuda’s rich Black golf legacy involving the Bermuda Tourism Authority, PGA Magazine and Ellison Consulting Group.

As many 24 teams will compete for the Black Golf Club and Team Championship trophy across the island’s various golf courses.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to our island for this historic inaugural event honouring Bermuda's golf legacy and providing an action-packed platform for diversity, equity and inclusivity,” Charles H. Jeffers II, the BTA chief executive, said.

“Our island has more golf courses per square mile than anywhere else in the world. That fact, paired with a history that includes ground-breaking achievements by Bermudian golfers who helped break the colour line in the US and Canada, is a natural home for this launch event.”

Hazel Clark, the BTA director of sports business development former US Olympian, added: “As a leading sports tourism destination, Bermuda celebrates the achievements of athletes who have challenged the lack of diversity and accessibility in key sectors throughout history.

“Black Golfers Week offers a ground-breaking opportunity for communities worldwide to come together for action-driven conversations designed to build upon those achievements to advance diversity and access to the sport of golf.”

Organiser Earnie Ellison Jr, of Ellison Consulting Group, said the Black Golf Club and Team Championship “heralds Black golf clubs’ historical achievements”, spanning more than a century and the collective influence of the women and men club members.

The event in its entirety underscores Bermuda’s position as an influential global leader on the promotion of diversity and inclusion and help establish a critical framework potentially creating unprecedented worldwide access and opportunities in golf.

For more details on the upcoming events visit www.BermudaDrivingDiversity.com

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Published September 03, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated September 03, 2021 at 7:35 am)

Black Power icon John Carlos to feature in golf diversity initiative

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