Jan 29, 2021
News Release

Wheaties salutes racial equity trailblazer and track legend Tommie Smith with limited edition box

Sales of the commemorative Wheaties box will benefit the NAACP.

tommie smith wheaties

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota - Wheaties revealed today that Tommie Smith, a racial equality activist and record-breaking track and field star, will be honored with a limited-edition Wheaties box coming this April.

“While Tommie was a world champion runner, his work as one of the original activist athletes laid the foundation for champions to use their platform and stand for something extraordinary,” said Taylor Gessell, brand experience manager for Wheaties. “We are proud to honor this true champion and trailblazer with this special commemorative Wheaties box.”

Smith established himself as an elite track and field athlete at the 1968 games in Mexico City. At age 24, he won the 200-meter sprint, earning him a gold medal. He became the first man to break 20 seconds in the 200-meter, crossing the finish line triumphantly with his hands in the air. During this pivotal moment on a global stage, Smith made a bold and culture-defining gesture, raising his fist while on the podium in silent protest for racial justice, solidarity, and human rights.

“As a world champion, I always wanted to be on a Wheaties box,” Smith said. “To now be recognized by Wheaties and selected to grace the cover of their box, in the class with other great champion athletes, is an honor.”

Smith’s historic moment at the games is the basis of the documentary film “With Drawn Arms” by artist and director Glenn Kaino and photographer and director Afshin Shahidi. The documentary uncovers the story behind that critical moment in American history, spawning one of the most iconic images of protest from the past century that defined the racial equality movement and continues to inspire and empower athletes 50 years later. In the film, Smith reveals one of his dreams is to appear on the “Breakfast of Champions” box. While at the time his salute caused great controversy, Smith has continued to be a pioneer for equality.

Tommie Smith’s limited-edition Wheaties box will launch exclusively online in April. Sales of the box will go to the NAACP. Beginning January 29, 2021, boxes will be available for pre-sale purchase at shop.wheaties.com. All pre-sale boxes will be shipped in April.

About Wheaties

Wheaties is an iconic brand that has been a part of American culture for nearly 100 years. In 1934, Wheaties honored Lou Gehrig as their first cover athlete and has celebrated champions on their iconic orange cereal boxes ever since. Some of the greatest athletes in history have been honored on Wheaties boxes. The team behind “The Breakfast of Champions” has redefined what it means to be a Champion and to champion, reserving their cover for athletes who are using their sports platform for something greater. Wheaties believes the world needs more champions who champion. To view more about Wheaties, or shop for products, visit www.wheaties.com.


General Mills Corporate Communications

Simon Landon, Golin on behalf of General Mills