The International Olympic Committee has ruled that athletes will not be permitted to wear Black Lives Matter apparel during the Tokyo Olympics.
According to WBTV 3 (via the Associated Press), the IOC revealed two weeks ago it would consider punishing any athletes involved in protests or demonstrations during the ceremonies or on the podium, specifically forbidding it. This week, the IOC said any items of clothing featuring slogans like “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed during the Tokyo Olympics.
The IOC said 70 percent of 3,500 athletes surveyed last year agreed it wasn’t “appropriate to demonstrate or express their views” while participating in the Olympics, or attending the opening and closing ceremonies. There’s no such restriction on apparel worn during any press conferences, interviews, or team meetings, however.
“A very clear majority of athletes said that they think it’s not appropriate to demonstrate or express their views on the field of play, at the official ceremonies or at the podium,”said Kirsty Coventry, the International Olympic Committee’s commission chief. “So our recommendation is to preserve the podium, field of play and official ceremonies from any kind of protest or demonstrations or acts perceived as such.”
Despite all that, apparel featuring the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion,” and “equality” are permitted at the Olympic games.
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