IOC upholds ban on political protests at Tokyo Olympics

 IOC upholds ban on political protests at Tokyo Olympics

Forget taking a knee or raising your first.

Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics this summer will be prohibited from making political protests, as the International Olympic Committee announced this week it was upholding Rule 50 of its charter.  

The IOC went through a long process deciding whether or not athletes could protest.
The IOC went through a long process deciding whether or not athletes could protest.
IOC

“No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas,” the rule states

In the end, the IOC decided to keep true to Rule 50 of its charter and not allow athletes to protest.
In the end, the IOC decided to keep true to Rule 50 of its charter and not allow athletes to protest.
Andreas Gora/picture alliance via Getty Images

The IOC said it chose to uphold the rule after “an extensive qualitative and quantitative consultation process” that included 3,500 athletes representing 185 different national Olympic committees and 41 different sports.

According to an IOC survey, 67 percent of athletes said the podium is an inappropriate place for protests or other demonstrations of individual views; 70 percent said the same for both the field of play and opening ceremonies.

A Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organizing staff wearing a protective mask prepares for an operational test event of Rugby in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Stadium Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Tokyo.
The Tokyo Olympics were originally supposed to be held in 2020 but were postponed due to COVID-19.
Eugene Hoshiko/AP

“We want to amplify the voices of athletes, and find more ways to support the values of the Olympic Games and what sport stands for,” said Kirsty Coventry, chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission. “This consultation was a very important process for us and is part of the ongoing dialogue with the athlete community.”