VIDEO SHOWS: THIERRY HENRY, TOMMIE SMITH AND LEWIS HAMILTON DISCUSSING RACISM
SHOWS: UNKNOWN LOCATIONS (RECENT) (PUMA VNR - ACCESS ALL)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) THIERRY HENRY SAYING:
"I always say to people that at some point people didn't see my colour anymore because I played football, because I was, in brackets, famous. You (Tommie Smith) never had that opportunity young. When you know now when you're an athlete, you kind of get away with it. If I come now with my hood or in a tracksuit and I walk into an amazing shop or an expensive shop they will say 'Oh Mr. Henry, what do you want?'. If it wasn't me trust me the security guard would have been following me or not even letting me in. So sometimes now for me to judge and know it's very difficult.
"But I can tell you one thing, when I came to play in the U.S. my colour came back because nobody could recognise me sometime, depends in which state we were, my colour came back."
2. WHITE FLASH
3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOMMIE SMITH SAYING:
"I had doubts about doing it (saluting) but I had to do it. Sometimes you have to do things that you know is right but you're afraid to do it because it's going to hurt you later on. Because that hurt didn't bother me once I thought of who died so I could be there, the latest person who died that I respected more than a lot of other things was Dr Martin Luther King only six months before. And you had other very advisory people who died fighting for equality, fighting for the rights of man, fighting human rights."
4. WHITE FLASH
5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEWIS HAMILTON SAYING:
"I've been so inspired by you (Smith) and what you did all that time ago. I never in my life thought there'd be a moment like yours that would perhaps come up for me, and I'm in a sport which is white dominated and there's very little diversity for example.
"With everything that happened in the States it really brought up a lot of emotions for me because a lot of people only think it's happening in the States, yes there's the police brutality in the States but systemic racism is across the world. Very very much there in Europe and England and so I experienced a lot of that growing up in the U.K. and when I started travelling and racing.
"Anyways this year it's come around and I've got the sport now to kind of acknowledge that it needs to do more. And I had a race that I won at home and I got to do the stance like you did with the power, with the punch in the air just like you did. I was this must be like Tommie felt but I didn't have the crowd like you had."
6. WHITE FLASH
7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) THIERRY HENRY SAYING:
"I grew up in a bad neighbourhood which I thought at the time was the best neighbourhood in the world because I couldn't compare it to anything right. Where I was is the best place in the world.
"Because you have a lot of diversity in my neighbourhood I didn't realise that I was different. When i stepped out of my neighbourhood I started to realise people started to make me feel that I wasn't human and started to be difficult. So I realise that the colour of my skin was a problem, what I wear was a problem."
8. WHITE FLASH
9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEWIS HAMILTON SAYING:
"You can't stop utilising the platforms that we have, we can't stop trying to encourage people to educate themselves. But we still have this fight, we've got to keep going."
STORY: Sporting greats Thierry Henry, Tommie Smith and Lewis Hamilton held a virtual call together recently to discuss racism.
Sports company Puma brought together three of its best-known ambassadors, Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton, Olympian Tommie Smith and former soccer player Thierry Henry, to have a conversation about racism.
More than 50 years ago, when America's Tommie Smith raised his fist on the podium of the 1968 Olympic Games, he risked everything to stand up for universal equality. At a time when racism and police brutality against minorities once again dominate the headlines, the athletes talked about their experiences with racism, activism and their hopes for the future.
"At some point people didn't see my colour anymore because I played football, because I was, in brackets, famous," Frenchman Henry said.
"When I came to play in the U.S. my colour came back because nobody could recognise me sometime, depends in which state we were, my colour came back."
Six-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton of Britain talked about his experience as the only black driver in the predominantly white world of Formula 1, describing how he felt when he followed Smith in raising a fist on the podium recently.
"You can't stop utilising the platforms that we have, we can't stop trying to encourage people to educate themselves. But we still have this fight, we've got to keep going," he said.
(Production: Andy Ragg)