Before the 100-meter final at the Olympic track trials, Noah Lyles raised a gloved fist.
He would not make it to the medals stand, the way Tommie Smith and John Carlos did in 1968. But the starting line Sunday might have been the first of several opportunities for the 23-year-old Lyles to spread his message.
In what went down as the first notable demonstration of the track trials, Lyles made a subtle gesture, wearing a black glove — minus the fingers — on his left hand, and raising his fist when he was introduced before the race.
He wound up seventh, but will be a favorite next weekend in the 200. If he wins there, he’ll be favored to stand on the podium at the Olympics as well.
His message through it all: Black Lives Matter.
“We’re still dying in the streets,” Lyles said after a race won by Trayvon Bromell. “Just because we stopped talking about it in the news or just because the Olympics are going on, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. I am Black.”