When the Tokyo Olympics come around in July, athletes who decide to take a knee or raise their fists in protest will be punished.
On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee revealed that the protest ban will be in place when athletes are inside stadiums, at ceremonies, and on podiums, according to The Guardian and NBC Sports.
Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter explicitly states: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”
“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.”
If an athlete violates the rule…Well, the IOC is currently working with the Legal Affairs Commission to “come out with a range of different sanctions so everyone knows what everyone can and cannot do.”
Basically, there are going to be punishments for it, they just haven’t figured out what that will be yet.
Coventry said that an estimated 70 percent of Olympic athletes didn’t want to see protests inside stadiums, at ceremonies, or at podiums. 3,500 Olympic athletes were polled regarding their feelings on the subject of protests.