6:58 AM EDT, October 15, 2010
NEW YORK ( KTLA) -- Tommie Smith, the Olympic sprinter whose Black Power salute got him expelled from the 1968 Olympic Games, is selling the gold medal that started the whole controversy.
The former San Jose State runner has put his gold medal for the 200 meters and spikes up for auction at New York-based M.I.T. Memorabilia. The bidding starts at $250,000. The sale is scheduled to close Nov. 4.
The 66-year-old Smith, who now lives in Georgia, declined comment about the sale.
M.I.T.'s Gary Zimet said Smith is selling the medal for the money but also because he wants to share it with the public.
After winning a gold medal in world record time in the 200 meter race at the '68 games, Smith and bronze medal winner John Carlos raised their fists in a Black Power salute on the awards podium.
On the winner's podium, men wore black socks and no shoes to symbolize poverty, and a turtleneck and beads to honor the victims of lynchings. During the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner, they bowed their heads and raised their black-gloved fists in protest. The human rights protest eventually earned Smith and Carlos international acclaim.