Now that we are officially in 2020, the countdown until the next Olympic games have begun, and the International Olympic Committee announced some rules ahead of the games this summer.
According to CBS News, on Thursday the IOC shared a three-page guideline that goes over Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter. Athletes will not be able to take a knee, use any political hand gestures, and they will not be allowed to show any signs of disrespect during the medal ceremonies.
The athletes are prohibited from protesting while on the field, in the Olympic Village, or during medal ceremonies. Nonetheless, they can express their political views during press interviews outside of the Olympic Village, in meetings and on social media.
The IOC said in a statement, “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 continued to explain that there is a difference between “expressing views” and “protests and demonstrations.” If an athlete does not follow the guidelines set by the IOC “disciplinary action will be taken on a case-by-case basis” in order to restrict any “divisive disruption.”
These guidelines were set after hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised a fist and fencer Race Imboden kneeled in protest at the Pan-American games in Peru back in August. Both athletes are facing 12-month probations, which prohibits them from competing in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
During the 1968 games in Mexico City, Tommie Smith and John Carlos famously raised their fists to protest the racial discrimination that had been going on back in the U.S. They were later suspended from the national team, but 51 years later they were inducted into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame.
TSR STAFF: Jade Ashley @Jade_Ashley94