Activism

International Olympic Committee Bans Political Protests At 2020 Games

Among the rules: “Gestures of a political nature, like a hand gesture or kneeling” are not allowed.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have banned political protests by athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Games, they announced Thursday.
 
The IOC released a three-page set of guidelines, stressing Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter on how and when athletes can protest at the 2020 Games.  
 
"We believe that the example we set by competing with the world's best while living in harmony in the Olympic Village is a uniquely positive message to send to an increasingly divided world," the guidelines state. "This is why it is important, on
both a personal and a global level, that we keep the venues, the Olympic Village and the podium neutral and free from any form of political, religious or ethnic demonstrations."
 
According to the guidelines, athletes aren’t allowed to protest in the Olympic Village, on the field of play, and during medal and other official ceremonies — meaning no “gestures of a political nature, like a hand gesture or kneeling” are allowed. 
However, they are allowed to express political opinions on social media, in press ceremonies outside of the Olympic Village, and at team meetings.
 
They also noted that “expressing views is different from protests and demonstrations,” and the rules also pertain to officials, trainers, coaches, and other Olympic officials.
 
American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos were recently inducted in to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame, 51 years after they protested racial discrimination at the 1968 Olympics by raising their fists. After the act, both were suspended from the national team. 

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