Assassinations of black leaders were the response of diehard white supremacists to black demands for change. The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the apostle of nonviolence, in Memphis in April 1968, was the catalyst for a new cycle of urban violence. That tragedy, which intensified racial and political awareness among African American athletes, preceded the Mexico City Games by just six months. In the racially charged atmosphere of the 1960s, restiveness on the part of black athletes had burgeoned. In the Olympic Movement, anxiety was growing for a number of reasons, and not just race. Because of the killing, which was front-page news around the globe, a racial protest reminiscent of the Smith-Carlos incident received comparatively little attention at the time, and it is largely ignored today. By the time of the 1972 Olympiad, race relations had incrementally improved, owing to sundry Supreme Court rulings and civil rights laws enacted on the federal and state levels.