OPINION | This article contains opinion. AnalyzingAmerica is licensed to publish this content.
Olympic Charter’s Rule 50 prohibits political statements on the field or in the arena during events, according to The Western Journal.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee just informed their athletes that the longstanding guideline need not be followed, at least not during the Olympic trials.
the USOPC said it “believes that their right to advocate for racial and social justice aligns with the fundamental values of equality that define Team USA and the Olympic and Paralympic movements.”
Athletes are allowed to express themselves in the follow manner:
• “Wearing a hat with phrases such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ or ‘Trans Lives Matter’ or words such ‘equality’ or ‘respect.”
• “Orally advocating for equity/equal rights for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals, or other historically underrepresented, marginalized or minoritized populations.”
• “Holding up one’s fist at the start line or on the podium.”
Participants cannot wear “a hat with a hate symbol or hate speech on it” or make “hand gestures affiliated with hate groups.”
Protests must not be violent, deface or “distort” a national flag, or be “aimed explicitly against a specific organization, person or group of people.”
“I want to thank all members of the Council on Racial and Social Justice — athletes, NGB and USOPC staff, and outside experts — who gave their time and perspective to this process,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland.
“When you came forward with your recommendations in December, they reflected specific themes of social injustice and inequality that are prevalent in our society and addressed how those themes directly and personally impact the lives of America’s elite athletes.”
Athletes, she said, “also made it clear there is a deep desire for Team USA athletes to speak on these issues, and to lead as a positive force in our community.”
“Real issues are highlighted when people have support,” said hammer thrower Gwen Berry.
“When people don’t have support, they’ll just hide in the shadows and they won’t say anything. The fact that we do have support now, you never know how somebody will flourish and the issues some people will talk about.”
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) August 11, 2019
“The focus at the Olympic Games must remain on athletes’ performances, sport and the international unity and harmony that the Olympic Movement seeks to advance.”
“Athletes at the Olympic Games are part of a global community with many different views, lifestyles and values. The mission of the Olympic Games to bring the entire world together can facilitate the understanding of different views, but this can be accomplished only if everybody respects this diversity.”
“It is a fundamental principle that sport is neutral and must be separate from political, religious or any other type of interference. Specifically, the focus for the field of play and related ceremonies must be on celebrating athletes’ performance, and showcasing sport and its values.”
More from The Western Journal:
Yes, don’t rebel and try to advocate anything that might “enhance the growth of any type of social reform.” Don’t rebel against their brave rebellion by thinking that your ideas — if they happen to be of a socially conservative bent — deserve to be lent credence.
I mean, except for those bad rebels.
Let’s keep in mind what Rule 50 says and why it’s in place. First, the text: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”