On July 2, the International Olympic Committee announced a change to Rule 50 that prohibits athletes from protesting at the Olympic venues. It loosened some regulationsAllows Tokyo athletes to express more freely in interviews, press conferences and mixzones. But now, more than 150 athletes, professors, members of sports organizations, and groups of human rights and social justice experts around the world are writing open letters calling for further action.
“We are aware of the changes in athletes’ expressions at the Tokyo Olympics,” the letter says. “We appreciate the progress made by the IOC / IPC to promote the expression of athletes, but the changes made are to freedom of expression as a fundamental human right and to racial and social justice in global sports. I don’t think it reflects our efforts. “
Gwen Berry, an IOC-approved US hammer thrower after raising his fist during the national anthem at the 2019 Pan American Games awards ceremony, is one of the signatories. (Berry Also, I turned my eyes away from the US flag So are sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos, who are famous for winning the podium at the 1968 Olympics.
This letter makes some specific requests to the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee. The International Paralympic Committee’s rulebook contains similar restrictions on the expression of athletes. “The IOC / IPC cannot work to maintain human dignity while silencing the most vulnerable voices in the Olympic and Paralympic communities,” the letter said.
Signatories urge governing bodies to refrain from imposing sanctions on athletes protesting within the framework of internationally recognized human rights, including the podium, at the Tokyo and 2022 Beijing Games. They also call for a comprehensive review of Rule 50 after the Beijing Olympics.
In response to Friday’s letter, the IOC maintained its commitment to the rules as they were, arguing for widespread athlete support and the position that the Olympics are a non-political event. “Rule 50.2 provides a framework for protecting the neutrality of sports. Olympic competition“The statement said. “During the Olympics, athlete representatives around the world have expressed their support for freeing podiums, stadiums and ceremonies from any form of protest, calling for more opportunities for athletes to express themselves.”
Team GB Sprinter Dina Asher Smith I told the Guardian this week She believes it is a mistake to ban protests against racism.
“Protesting and expressing yourself is a fundamental human right,” said Asher Smith. “What if we were to penalize someone for confronting racial inequality? How would we force it?”
“When people feel strongly about something, especially when it’s very close to your heart, and when you think of racism as a black woman, I crack down on people’s voices about it. I don’t think you can. It’s very difficult. “
Carlos and Smith say the IOC has not yet fully committed to the freedom of athletes’ protests | Tokyo Olympics 2020
Source link Carlos and Smith say the IOC has not yet fully committed to the freedom of athletes’ protests | Tokyo Olympics 2020