Basketball player LeBron James is not playing with team USA in the Olympics this year, but his company, the Uninterrupted, is commenting from afar. Specifically, the company expressed disagreement with the Olympic Committee’s decision to ban athletes from protesting or making political statements on the medal stand.
The International Olympic Committee did lift the ban on athlete protests elsewhere, as long as competitive play is not interrupted. Uninterrupted tweeted, “here’s what you need to know about #Rule50 and how Olympians around the world are being silenced before the #TokyoOlympics start.”
“What is Rule 50?” a slideshow asks in the Tweet. “Rule 50 is a rule in the Olympic Charter that bans any kind of demonstration and prohibits any opinionated political, religious or racial propaganda at the Olympic site in 2021…
“The only time an athlete I able to speak freely is at press conferences and to the media, but not on the Olympic podium when the world is watching…
“Simply put, we see this as a way of silencing voices, and as advocates for Athlete empowerment, we take a stand against it…
“Sport is not neutral. When athletes speak up – whether from a stadium, gymnasium, or track – they start conversations and things change. Give athletes the chance to show up fully and to make change.”
The Daily Wire reports so far, athletes have protested just once at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: during the opening round of soccer. Women’s and men’s teams ‘took a knee’ ahead of the first soccer games at the Olympics to send a message about equality in light of racial slurs hurled at players from Team Great Britain online after three of the team’s players missed penalty kicks in the European championships”
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