TOMMIE SMITH
Beats honors Tommie Smith with custom Beats Studio3 Wireless

TOMMIE SMITH
Beats honors Tommie Smith with custom Beats Studio3 Wireless

TOMMIE SMITH
Beats honors Tommie Smith with custom Beats Studio3 Wireless

The 1968 protest-inspired headphones were designed by visual artist Glenn Kaino

Some 52 years ago in Mexico City, sprinter Tommie Smith ascended to the victory stand following a first place finish in the 200-meter dash. But there was something more meaningful in his mind: The plight of his people. The pangs of racism. The aches of injustice. As the national anthem rang through the stadium, Tommie lowered his head and raised his Black fist to the heavens in the name of Black power and Black freedom — igniting a movement we still see in the world of sports to this day.

The 1968 protest-inspired headphones were designed by visual artist Glenn Kaino

Some 52 years ago in Mexico City, sprinter Tommie Smith ascended to the victory stand following a first place finish in the 200-meter dash. But there was something more meaningful in his mind: The plight of his people. The pangs of racism. The aches of injustice. As the national anthem rang through the stadium, Tommie lowered his head and raised his Black fist to the heavens in the name of Black power and Black freedom — igniting a movement we still see in the world of sports to this day.

The 1968 protest-inspired headphones were designed by visual artist Glenn Kaino

Some 52 years ago in Mexico City, sprinter Tommie Smith ascended to the victory stand following a first place finish in the 200-meter dash. But there was something more meaningful in his mind: The plight of his people. The pangs of racism. The aches of injustice. As the national anthem rang through the stadium, Tommie lowered his head and raised his Black fist to the heavens in the name of Black power and Black freedom — igniting a movement we still see in the world of sports to this day.

“I had no idea that it would travel this far,” Tommie says. “I look at the Victory Stand as a divine moment — not a Tommie Smith moment.”

In honor of this revolutionary act, Beats partnered with Tommie Smith and visual artist Glenn Kaino to create a custom Beats Studio3 Wireless featuring visuals from that unforgettable October night.

“I had no idea that it would travel this far,” Tommie says. “I look at the Victory Stand as a divine moment — not a Tommie Smith moment.”

In honor of this revolutionary act, Beats partnered with Tommie Smith and visual artist Glenn Kaino to create a custom Beats Studio3 Wireless featuring visuals from that unforgettable October night.

“I had no idea that it would travel this far,” Tommie says. “I look at the Victory Stand as a divine moment — not a Tommie Smith moment.”

In honor of this revolutionary act, Beats partnered with Tommie Smith and visual artist Glenn Kaino to create a custom Beats Studio3 Wireless featuring visuals from that unforgettable October night.

I look at the Victory Stand as a divine moment — not a Tommie Smith moment.tommie smith

I look at the Victory Stand as a divine moment — not a Tommie Smith moment.tommie smith

I look at the Victory Stand as a divine moment — not a Tommie Smith moment.tommie smith

The headphone, black and gold to symbolize the Black community and Glenn and Tommie’s art installation “With Drawn Arms,” features a gold fist on the right ear, Tommie’s signature on the left, and Tommie Smith’s iconic silhouette centered atop the headband with the word “unite” etched in gold.

“For us, this isn’t a logo placement. It isn’t a merchandise moment,” Glenn says. “This is a conceptual artwork from myself and Tommie. This is an encapsulation of his intention and gesture in an object that speaks to people today.”

The headphones are the latest collaboration between Tommie and Glenn, who’ve spent the past eight years developing a myriad of art installations, brand collaborations and a documentary celebrating Tommie and the legacy of the Victory Stand.

“It’s an ongoing exhibition — an ongoing performance,” says Glenn. “All these pop cultural artifacts are like snapshots that bring the story to the next generation.”

The headphone, black and gold to symbolize the Black community and Glenn and Tommie’s art installation “With Drawn Arms,” features a gold fist on the right ear, Tommie’s signature on the left, and Tommie Smith’s iconic silhouette centered atop the headband with the word “unite” etched in gold.

“For us, this isn’t a logo placement. It isn’t a merchandise moment,” Glenn says. “This is a conceptual artwork from myself and Tommie. This is an encapsulation of his intention and gesture in an object that speaks to people today.”

The headphones are the latest collaboration between Tommie and Glenn, who’ve spent the past eight years developing a myriad of art installations, brand collaborations and a documentary celebrating Tommie and the legacy of the Victory Stand.

“It’s an ongoing exhibition — an ongoing performance,” says Glenn. “All these pop cultural artifacts are like snapshots that bring the story to the next generation.”

The headphone, black and gold to symbolize the Black community and Glenn and Tommie’s art installation “With Drawn Arms,” features a gold fist on the right ear, Tommie’s signature on the left, and Tommie Smith’s iconic silhouette centered atop the headband with the word “unite” etched in gold.

“For us, this isn’t a logo placement. It isn’t a merchandise moment,” Glenn says. “This is a conceptual artwork from myself and Tommie. This is an encapsulation of his intention and gesture in an object that speaks to people today.”

The headphones are the latest collaboration between Tommie and Glenn, who’ve spent the past eight years developing a myriad of art installations, brand collaborations and a documentary celebrating Tommie and the legacy of the Victory Stand.

“It’s an ongoing exhibition — an ongoing performance,” says Glenn. “All these pop cultural artifacts are like snapshots that bring the story to the next generation.”

For us, this isn’t a logo placement. It isn’t a merchandise moment. This is a conceptual artwork from myself and Tommie.glenn kaino

For us, this isn’t a logo placement. It isn’t a merchandise moment. This is a conceptual artwork from myself and Tommie.glenn kaino

For us, this isn’t a logo placement. It isn’t a merchandise moment. This is a conceptual artwork from myself and Tommie.glenn kaino

"I kitbash and connect stories and ideas, whole systems of knowledge and production," he says. "I connect things that might not otherwise connect but through my art practice, by building bridges between them."

This process allowed him to translate Tommie’s Victory Stand across countless executions, each with their own approach and perspective. And the headphones are an embodiment of that. On an afternoon video call, Glenn unveils the final headphone to Tommie for the first time. A smile stretches across his face and his eyes light up.

“Now this is art,” Tommie declares. “Glenn don’t hold back.”

It’s still surreal for the 76-year-old recent hall of famer. The Victory Stand is a moment we cherish today, memorialized on headphones, screensavers, installations and t-shirts alike. But it wasn’t always heralded.

"I kitbash and connect stories and ideas, whole systems of knowledge and production," he says. "I connect things that might not otherwise connect but through my art practice, by building bridges between them."

This process allowed him to translate Tommie’s Victory Stand across countless executions, each with their own approach and perspective. And the headphones are an embodiment of that. On an afternoon video call, Glenn unveils the final headphone to Tommie for the first time. A smile stretches across his face and his eyes light up.

“Now this is art,” Tommie declares. “Glenn don’t hold back.”

It’s still surreal for the 76-year-old recent hall of famer. The Victory Stand is a moment we cherish today, memorialized on headphones, screensavers, installations and t-shirts alike. But it wasn’t always heralded.

"I kitbash and connect stories and ideas, whole systems of knowledge and production," he says. "I connect things that might not otherwise connect but through my art practice, by building bridges between them."

This process allowed him to translate Tommie’s Victory Stand across countless executions, each with their own approach and perspective. And the headphones are an embodiment of that. On an afternoon video call, Glenn unveils the final headphone to Tommie for the first time. A smile stretches across his face and his eyes light up.

“Now this is art,” Tommie declares. “Glenn don’t hold back.”

It’s still surreal for the 76-year-old recent hall of famer. The Victory Stand is a moment we cherish today, memorialized on headphones, screensavers, installations and t-shirts alike. But it wasn’t always heralded.

Following his 1968 protest, Tommie was outcast. The media shunned him. He received death threats. They suspended him from running, they tried to take away his medal. He was public enemy #1. The man held 11 world records concurrently, but there were no victory parades for Tommie. Just a gig washing cars at a dealership, and plenty of personal turmoil.

It looked like he was going to be forgotten — just another thankless sacrifice in the fight for Black freedom. But he held on to hope that his day would come.

“The good book says, ‘Wait, just wait,’” Tommie Smith says. “‘You don’t have to push hard. He will send somebody to drive your chariot for you … all you have to do is ride.’”

Following his 1968 protest, Tommie was outcast. The media shunned him. He received death threats. They suspended him from running, they tried to take away his medal. He was public enemy #1. The man held 11 world records concurrently, but there were no victory parades for Tommie. Just a gig washing cars at a dealership, and plenty of personal turmoil.

It looked like he was going to be forgotten — just another thankless sacrifice in the fight for Black freedom. But he held on to hope that his day would come.

“The good book says, ‘Wait, just wait,’” Tommie Smith says. “‘You don’t have to push hard. He will send somebody to drive your chariot for you … all you have to do is ride.’”

Following his 1968 protest, Tommie was outcast. The media shunned him. He received death threats. They suspended him from running, they tried to take away his medal. He was public enemy #1. The man held 11 world records concurrently, but there were no victory parades for Tommie. Just a gig washing cars at a dealership, and plenty of personal turmoil.

It looked like he was going to be forgotten — just another thankless sacrifice in the fight for Black freedom. But he held on to hope that his day would come.

“The good book says, ‘Wait, just wait,’” Tommie Smith says. “‘You don’t have to push hard. He will send somebody to drive your chariot for you … all you have to do is ride.’”

So the world’s fastest man learned to slow down. And through an act of fate, an athlete Tommie used to coach introduced him to Glenn Kaino over eight years ago. While Glenn didn’t come through in a chariot, he did come with lots of ideas of how to reinvigorate the world to celebrate Tommie Smith’s legacy.

“I needed some type of vessel to get that message out. And guess what? I believe that I have it now,” Tommie says.

So the world’s fastest man learned to slow down. And through an act of fate, an athlete Tommie used to coach introduced him to Glenn Kaino over eight years ago. While Glenn didn’t come through in a chariot, he did come with lots of ideas of how to reinvigorate the world to celebrate Tommie Smith’s legacy.

“I needed some type of vessel to get that message out. And guess what? I believe that I have it now,” Tommie says.

So the world’s fastest man learned to slow down. And through an act of fate, an athlete Tommie used to coach introduced him to Glenn Kaino over eight years ago. While Glenn didn’t come through in a chariot, he did come with lots of ideas of how to reinvigorate the world to celebrate Tommie Smith’s legacy.

“I needed some type of vessel to get that message out. And guess what? I believe that I have it now,” Tommie says.

The good book says, ‘Wait, just wait. You don’t have to push hard. He will send somebody to drive your chariot for you. All you have to do is ride.’ tommie smith

The good book says, ‘Wait, just wait. You don’t have to push hard. He will send somebody to drive your chariot for you. All you have to do is ride.’ tommie smith

The good book says, ‘Wait, just wait. You don’t have to push hard. He will send somebody to drive your chariot for you. All you have to do is ride.’ tommie smith

The message is needed now more than ever. With the same injustices Tommie was fighting for ringing true today, and more professional athletes trying to figure out how to use their platforms to ignite change, there’s so much they can learn from Tommie’s legacy. It fills his heart to see them following in his footsteps.

“This generation is moving with both feet on the ground now,” Says Tommie Smith. “It’s a movement — it’s a continual movement.”

The headphones will be distributed to select athletes throughout the world of sport, reminding them of the power of their platforms, and the long legacy of protest they’re continuing. Tommie and Glenn also plan to include the headphones in future exhibitions in their ongoing memorialization of this moment. Their documentary with Afshin Shahidi, “With Drawn Arms,” debuts this winter.

The message is needed now more than ever. With the same injustices Tommie was fighting for ringing true today, and more professional athletes trying to figure out how to use their platforms to ignite change, there’s so much they can learn from Tommie’s legacy. It fills his heart to see them following in his footsteps.

“This generation is moving with both feet on the ground now,” Says Tommie Smith. “It’s a movement — it’s a continual movement.”

The headphones will be distributed to select athletes throughout the world of sport, reminding them of the power of their platforms, and the long legacy of protest they’re continuing. Tommie and Glenn also plan to include the headphones in future exhibitions in their ongoing memorialization of this moment. Their documentary with Afshin Shahidi, “With Drawn Arms,” debuts this winter.

The message is needed now more than ever. With the same injustices Tommie was fighting for ringing true today, and more professional athletes trying to figure out how to use their platforms to ignite change, there’s so much they can learn from Tommie’s legacy. It fills his heart to see them following in his footsteps.

“This generation is moving with both feet on the ground now,” Says Tommie Smith. “It’s a movement — it’s a continual movement.”

The headphones will be distributed to select athletes throughout the world of sport, reminding them of the power of their platforms, and the long legacy of protest they’re continuing. Tommie and Glenn also plan to include the headphones in future exhibitions in their ongoing memorialization of this moment. Their documentary with Afshin Shahidi, “With Drawn Arms,” debuts this winter.

Photo credits: Afshin Shahidi, Mike Jensen, and Glenn Kaino Studio

Photo credits: Afshin Shahidi, Mike Jensen, and Glenn Kaino Studio

Photo credits: Afshin Shahidi, Mike Jensen, and Glenn Kaino Studio