On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) released a three-page guideline for athletes participating in the games. According to CBS News, the guideline explained how athletes can protest in the 2020 Tokyo games.
What We Know:
- Athletes are banned from protesting on the field, in the Olympic Village, as well medal or other official ceremonies. The only time they can protest is in meetings or on social media outside of the Olympic Village. The IOC said in a statement, that they wanted to keep the peace. “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. 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.”
- The IOC wants the game to remain unified. They want to stay true to the Olympics’ mission statement mission and “bring the entire world together can facilitate the understanding of different views, but this can be accomplished only if everybody respects this diversity”.
- The consequences of disobeying the rule will lead to suspension from participating for a year or more. A silent protest happened in August at the Pan-American Games in Peru. Hammer Thrower Gwen Berry and Fencer Race Imboden kneeled and raised fists in protest during the medal ceremonies. According to CBS News, they both faced 12-month probation which disqualified them from competing in the Tokyo games.
- This isn’t the first time athletes have been suspended for protesting. Back in 1968 Olympic games, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in protest of racial discrimination in the U.S. and were suspended from the team. They went on to be homeless and unemployed. However, 51 years later the duo was inducted into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame. In recent years the kneeling became infamous by infamous NFL star Colin Kaepernick.
The Tokyo Games will start off in July 24 in an opening ceremony.