Tokyo Olympics Bans Athletes From Wearing Any ‘Black Lives Matter’ Apparel, Committee Gets Accused of Racism (TWEETS)

(Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

The International Olympic Committee reaffirmed a contentious rule that bans athletes from engaging in political speech or silent acts of protest, specifically calling out the phrase “Black Lives Matter” would be banned at this year’s games in Tokyo, Japan.

Taking a knee or lifting a fist in support of racial equality during the games would not be allowed, the IOC said. Athletes would also be barred from wearing shirts or other apparel with the phrase “Black Lives Matter” on them.

The only thing that remains unclear is what kind of punishment athletes will be subject to if they break the rules.

“A very clear majority of athletes said that they think it’s not appropriate to demonstrate or express their views on the field of play, at the official ceremonies or at the podium,” IOC Athletes’ Commission chief Kirsty Coventry said.

“So our recommendation is to preserve the podium, field of play and official ceremonies from any kind of protest or demonstrations or acts perceived as such.”

Some on social media accused the IOC of racism for its decision to take direct action against athletes who may have planned to highlight “Black Lives Matter” at the games.