The ruling means that gestures such as ‘taking a knee’ or raising a fist, which have been ongoing in other sports, are effectively banned from the Olympics.
The IOC’s Rule 50 forbids any form of “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” in arenas or on podiums.
There was a time not long ago when Americans could tune into a sporting event without being bombarded with woke politics.
That changed when NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem and other athletes quickly followed suit.
Such theatrics are almost inevitable now after the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests and riots across the country.
While the NBA, the NFL and MLB encourage and even take part in their own politicization, fashionable “social justice” activism won’t be so welcome at the Tokyo Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee has decided to maintain its ban on “athletes’ protests inside stadiums, at ceremonies and on podiums,” Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Some had called for the IOC to revoke its Rule 50, which prohibits any kind of “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” at the Olympic Games.
But the IOC consulted with over 3,500 athletes and found that some 70 percent of them did not want the Olympics to be turned into a stage for social justice scolds.
“I would not want something to distract from my competition and take away from that. That is how I still feel today,” Kirsty Coventry, a former Olympic swimming champion for Zimbabwe and current head of the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission, said.
Athletes who elect to ignore Rule 50 at the Tokyo Games will be punished.
This is devastating news for those who might have wanted to use the Games to push a political message, but it’s a huge win for the Olympics and for fans.
Spectators can now tune in this summer knowing they will not have politics shoved down their throats. It’ll certainly make for a nice change.
When athletes take advantage of the cameras to protest in front of a huge audience, they stoop to putting on an attention-seeking sideshow that turns many fans against them.
This would only detract from what is supposed to be a prestigious and unifying event. The grand purpose of the Games would be hijacked by individual athletes airing their grievances to the world.
These athletes have the opportunity of a lifetime: representing the United States on the field of competition.
If they have such irreconcilable problems with their country that they feel compelled to disrespect its flag and anthem, they could choose not to represent their countrymen.
If they truly believe that America is at its core a racist and unjust nation, they could choose not to wear the red, white and blue.
We don’t want our athletes to demonize the home they share with us on the international stage. We want them to show the world what Americans can do.