US OLYMPIC COMMITTEE WILL ALLOW ATHLETES TO PROTEST DURING ANTHEM
The Olympic Charter’s Rule 50 prohibits political statements on the field or in the arena during events. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee just told its athletes that the longstanding guideline need not be followed, at least not during the Olympic trials.
In guidance sent to athletes in advance of the trials for this summer’s delayed Tokyo Olympiad, the USOPC said it “believes that their right to advocate for racial and social justice aligns with the fundamental values of equality that define Team USA and the Olympic and Paralympic movements.”
The document outlines a set of permissible and impermissible behaviors. Among them? “Kneeling on the podium or at the start line during the national anthem.”
Other things athletes may do include:
• “Wearing a hat with phrases such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ or ‘Trans Lives Matter’ or words such ‘equality’ or ‘respect.”
• “Orally advocating for equity/equal rights for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals, or other historically underrepresented, marginalized or minoritized populations.”
• “Holding up one’s fist at the start line or on the podium.”