Athletes in the Olympics will be helped by lawyers as they make a political statement. Normally athletes are punished for this by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
We have seen it often on the various sports fields in recent years. Athletes kneel during the national anthem, wear clothes with slogans or hold their fists in the air. All things that are not allowed on the Olympic stage. The IOC has a ban on demonstrations or political, religious and racial propaganda. For this year’s Olympic Games, which start on July 23, the penalty has yet to be determined.
No ‘Black Lives Matter’
‘Black Lives Matter’ will not be allowed on athletes’ clothing. ‘Peace’, ‘respect’, ‘solidarity’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘equality’, on the other hand, do. More than two-thirds of athletes’ associations support Rule 50 of the Olympic charter being applied. There it is explicitly stated that no demonstration may take place. Anyone who goes against this rule can be punished by the IOC and the Olympic committee of their own country.
More and more athletes associations are now saying that those athletes who want to demonstrate will receive legal backing. Also on a national level. “If German athletes decide to peacefully protest fundamental values such as fighting racism, they can count on the legal backing of Athleten Deutschland,” said Managing Director Johannes Herber.
Players can be sent home
The leaders of two of the largest Olympic associations also support this view. FIFA’s Gianni Infantino and World Athletics Federation Sebastian Coe have publicly stated that they are against punishing athletes for political statements. The United States Olympic Committee already announced in December 2020 that it will not take any action against athletes in the ‘Trials’. That is the mutual competition between American athletes to conquer a place in the Olympic team. Now they want to extend that to the Olympic Games. Each action will be considered separately, which means that an athlete can still be sent home by the IOC if they make a political or racial statement.