For the International Olympic Committee, the ideal athlete is the silent athlete Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee has stated that athletes will not be permitted to kneel on the ground or protest human rights violations when participating in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, or when standing on the podium or at the competition site.

This friendly reminder comes less than 100 days after the Tokyo Olympics and less than 300 days after the Beijing Olympics, which will take place in a country committing genocide against the Uyghur minority.


Why suddenly the International Olympic Committee cares about the political views and human values ​​that athletes defend? The PyeongChang Winter Games (2018) and the Rio Summer Games (2016) were not the scene of the events staged by the athletes. Plus, the famous 50-plus rule forbidding athletes to pretend is already in place.

But over the past year, athletes from all over the world (this phenomenon that started in the US) have used the podium to demonstrate against racism. Also, the fieldwork of various athletes and organizations in the NBA, MLB and NFL had an enormous impact during the recent US elections. Thus the world of sports contributed to the increase in the rate of voting in elections that proved particularly close in several major states.

Overall, the participation of the athletes was very positive. It has started generating social progress that may just be the tip of today’s iceberg. Over the past year, the International Olympic Committee has come under pressure to stop restricting freedom of expression of athletes.


Amazingly, to maintain the status quo, the International Olympic Committee relied on the results of a survey of … the athletes themselves.

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According to the International Olympic Committee, a survey of 3,547 athletes from 185 countries found that 70% of participants felt that sporting arenas or ceremonies were not suitable places to demonstrate. And 67% responded that the ban on demonstrating on the stage should continue.

When we know that only 8.4% of the world’s population lives in a true democracy (according to the magazine’s Democracy Index The Economist), Such a result is not surprising. A large percentage of the world’s athletes live in places where freedom of expression is seriously hampered.

Moreover, it is quite evident that if those who wish to denounce injustice must obtain the approval of the majority before demonstrating, there will be no demonstrations! Likewise, there will undoubtedly be much less social progress. It is specifically designed to protect individuals and minorities from The tyranny of the majority That there are basic rights such as freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate.

For example, if the right to demonstrate does not exist, then it is likely that workers will not receive the right to organize or strike. Women will still be waiting for the right to vote. In many areas, they are still fighting for equal pay.

And if quarterback Colin Kaepernick had not stirred heated national controversy by kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, then the black civil rights movement probably wasn’t as strong as it is today.


The IOC’s approach is clearly not intended to offend its partners, who are sometimes dictatorships and, to a lesser extent, not to anger the sponsors.

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Having said that, it will be interesting to see how the International Olympic Committee punishes those who break this 50 rule. Suppose for a moment that during the medal ceremony in Beijing, the Canadian, American, or French gold medalist said to the camera: Uyghurs, I dedicate this victory to you!

What will the International Olympic Committee do? Do you take away his medal? Will the athlete be kicked out of the gaming site immediately? Will he be banned from the upcoming games? Either way, for the IOC image, the consequences of such penalties would be 100 times stronger than the athlete’s action.

It is for this reason that there is no doubt that the chairperson of the Athletes Commission of the International Olympic Committee, Kirsty Coventry, was not able to determine what the sanctions would consist of Naughty The protesters.

The Legal Affairs Committee is required to provide a proportional arrangement of penalties ensuring that all participants in the games know what they can and cannot do. , I explained daily Watchman.

Ultimately, the athletes will still be able to speak at a press conference, say the IOC members. But still there is, always according to Watchman, The IOC Athletes’ Committee documents remind participants of this Freedom of expression is not absolute and can be restricted As part of the Olympic Games.

In other words, we explain to them that their role in the games is to turn around the path and close the door.

The first athlete to challenge this muzzle will start a full-fledged conversation.

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