OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Breitbart is shining a light on the disturbing decision of the U.S. Olympic Committee to allow athletes at the Olympic trials to kneel and/or raise their fists during the national anthem.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee will not sanction athletes for raising their fists or kneeling during the national anthem at Olympic trials, previewing a contentious policy it expects to stick to when many of those same athletes head to Tokyo this summer.
The USOPC released a nine-page document Tuesday to offer guidance about the sort of “racial and social demonstrations” that will and won’t be allowed by the hundreds who will compete in coming months for spots on the U.S. team. The document comes three months after the federation, heeding calls from its athletes, determined it would not enforce longstanding rules that ban protests at the Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee’s Rule 50 is an ongoing source of friction across the globe. Many U.S. athletes have spearheaded the call for more freedom in using their platform at the Olympics to advance social justice causes. But others, both in and outside the U.S., balk at widespread rule changes that they fear could lead to demonstrations that sully their own Olympic experiences.
INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE 2020 STATEMENT
The U.S. Olympic Committee policy stands in contrast to the International Olympic Committee position stated in January 2020. Therefore, U.S. athletes who engage in such protests will risk sanctions from the IOC, unless their position changes in their upcoming review of Rule 50. The IOC review is expected to be concluded by the end of April.
THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE WARNED ATHLETES THURSDAY NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN SPECIFIC FORMS OF POLITICAL PROTEST AT THE 2020 SUMMER GAMES IN TOKYO, INCLUDING KNEELING, POLITICAL HAND GESTURES AND WEARING OR HOLDING SIGNS OR ARMBANDS.
APPROVED PROTESTS ONLY
The U.S. Olympic committee makes it clear athletes don’t have total freedom of expression. No, no. They only have freedom for approved causes. An athlete certainly wouldn’t be able to wear pro-life messages or anything indicating only biological women should participate in women’s sports.
The list of allowable forms of demonstration included holding up a fist, kneeling during the anthem and wearing hats or face masks with phrases such as “Black Lives Matter” or words such as “equality” or “justice.”
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Not allowed are hate symbols, as defined by the Anti-Defamation League, and actions that would impede others from competing, such as laying down in the middle of the track.
The document takes pains to define as much as it can, including making clear that acceptable demonstrations should involve “advancing racial and social justice; or promoting the human dignity of individuals or groups that have historically been underrepresented, minoritized, or marginalized in their respective societal context.”
Baseball, football, basketball, and hockey have all been ruined by woke culture. Congratulations, U.S. Olympic Committee. You are well on your way to ruining the Olympics too!