For The Tokyo Olympics, Protest Rules Have Been Loosened

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TOKYO, JAPAN — After the Olympics authorities loosened some of the regulations for protests at the event, athletes at Tokyo 2020 will be permitted to “voice their views” before and after competing — but not on the podium.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued new guidelines on Friday that lessen a long-standing prohibition against political protests at the Games.

It implies that athletes will be able to take a knee before a game to protest racial injustice, speak to the media and share their opinions online, or attend a news conference wearing clothing with a protest statement.

Political statements are still prohibited during competitions, victory celebrations, and the Olympic Village, according to the IOC.

In a statement, the athletic body stated that protests must not be “targeted, directly or indirectly, against people, countries, organizations, and/or their dignity.”

They also can’t do things like unfurling a banner as a team is introduced to cause “disruption” to other rivals.

In a statement, Kirsty Coventry, chair of the IOC’s athletes commission, said, “The revised standards are the product of our thorough consultation with the worldwide athletes’ community.”

“While the criteria give athletes new ways to express themselves before a competition, they also protect the competitions on the Field of Play, the ceremonies, the triumph ceremonies, and the Olympic Village.

“A large majority of athletes in our global consultation expressed this desire.”

It comes after appeals for the Olympic Charter’s rule 50.2 to be relaxed, which specifies that “no sort of demonstration or political, religious, or racial propaganda is authorized on any Olympic sites, venues, or other areas.”

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee had already stated that “respectful” demonstrations in favor of racial and social justice at the Tokyo Games would not be sanctioned.

China, which will host the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, is under fire for a number of issues, including mass detention and further repression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, as well as restrictions on freedoms in Hong Kong.

 

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