Olympics protest rule- Key Facts

With the players across the globe taking the knee the Olympic rule has always banned such demonstrations at the Games and this has been a hot topic debated for decades.


Key Points

  • The Olympics have always portrayed themselves as a non-political entity that brings together countries on the basis of sports and unity. Hence propaganda at the Games is banned.
  • American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their black-gloved fists while their national anthem played at the Mexico City Olympics in the year 1968. They were eventually sent home from the Olympics for and were ostracized for their protest. Only in the year 2019 did the U.S. Olympic Committee inducted them in its hall of fame.
  • Rule 50 of the IOC charter states that any kind of political, religious or racial demonstration or propaganda is banned at the Olympics.
  • A few months ago, with mounting pressure IOC decide to remove the rule, tweaking it and demonstrations would be allowed but only prior to the start of competitions and not on the podium.
  • In the year 2019 at the medals stands of the Pan-American Games Gwen Berry, US hammer thrower raised her fist and fencer Race Imboden took a knee. They both received letters from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympics Committee and were put on a yearlong probation. With the activism that followed after the killing of George Floyd in the USA the US Olympic committee decided no to sanction athletes who violated Rule 50. This put pressure on the IOC and they eventually had to tweak the rule just a few weeks before the commencements of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


About Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020 Olympics is being hosted at Tokyo, Japan. It starts on 23rd July, 2021 and will commence on 8th August.






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