Taking a knee during the Tokyo Olympics or lifting a fist in support of racial equality will be punished as the International Olympic Committee maintained its ban on athletes’ protests inside stadiums, at ceremonies and on podiums.
The IOC’s Rule 50 forbids any kind of “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” in venues and any other Olympic area, and the Games body concluded the rule should be maintained following an athlete consultation.
Against the backdrop of Black Lives Matter protesting racial injustice, calls have increased for a change to that rule that would allow athletes to protest.
The IOC’s Athletes’ Commission chief said 70 percent of athletes consulted were against any protests within the fields of play, the podiums, or ceremonies.
The IOC’s recommendations are the result of a consultation process that started in June 2020 and involved over 3,500 athletes worldwide.