Kneeling, Raising Fists, and Other Political Expressions Banned at Tokyo Olympics

Photo Credit: Mike Fleming, Flickr

The IOC has decided to ban all political expressions or protests during key events at the Tokyo Olympic games.  It cites a survey of thousands of athletes globally wherein 70% expressed the desire to uphold a rule that prohibits demonstrations on the podium, on the field, or at opening and closing ceremonies. Athletes would be permitted to express their political views, including wearing apparel with slogans like Black Lives Matter, at interviews, press conferences, internal team meetings, etc. This is an unfortunate, cowardly position. Millions of people suffer discrimination throughout the globe, and the Olympics can serve as an excellent opportunity to express their opinions on such matters of importance. So long as the demonstration is not disruptive, and does not include profane or offensive language, it should be allowed. John Carlos and Tommie Smith paid dearly for their infamous 1969 Black power fist demonstration; but they are heroes for trying to bring attention to the plight of Black people in America. Those who complain about “bringing politics into sports” don’t seem to mind when the politics in question are those with which they agree.  It will be interesting to see what happens this summer.

Article below by Karolos Grohmannat Reuters. 

Taking a knee during the Tokyo Olympics or lifting a fist in support of racial equality will be punished as the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday maintained its ban on athletes’ protests inside stadiums, at ceremonies and on podiums. 

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