Can’t believe this fell so far in the first round, but my pick has got to be the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics. American Tommie Smith won the 200-meter dash in world-record time, his compatriot John Carlos taking the bronze, and they decided to use their spotlight on the podium to protest. A lot of what they wore was symbolic, but the most striking thing about the photo, shot by John Dominis for Life Magazine, are the black-gloved raised fists of Smith and Carlos during the national anthem.
The crowd booed them for that, the criticism continued for much longer. All because they tried to bring awareness to what life can be like for the Black community in America, from poverty to lack of opportunity to fear of violence.
Others have followed in their footsteps since, most notable Colin Kaepernick. That has proven how much courage it takes to stand up for what you believe, the risk involved. But seeing people at the top of their game, with a lot to lose, still stick to what’s important to them and try to share that message, I think that’s amazing. And it’s what makes photos like these powerful and timeless.