Report: Olympic Social Media Teams Banned from Posting Pictures of Athletes Kneeling

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 21, 2021

TOPSHOT - Britain's forward Georgia Stanway (L) and Britain's midfielder Keira Walsh take a knee before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women's group E first round football match between Great Britain and Chile at the Sapporo Dome in Sapporo on July 21, 2021. (Photo by ASANO IKKO and - / AFP) (Photo by ASANO IKKO/AFP via Getty Images)
ASANO IKKO/AFP via Getty Images

Social media accounts for the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Organizing Committee are prohibited from sharing photos of athletes taking a knee, according to the Guardian's Sean Ingle.

An insider told Ingle organizers informed staff of the ban on Tuesday evening before the first events of the Games were held on Wednesday.

As one example, Ingle cited how members of Great Britain and Chile knelt prior to their women's soccer match Wednesday. No photos of the moment were shared by official Olympic accounts.

Leading up to the Summer Games, the IOC received criticism for its intention to enforce Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter.

"No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas," the rule reads.

The organization followed up in April to say the rule would remain in place because "it is a fundamental principle that sport is neutral and must be separate from political, religious or any other type of interference." 

However, Olympic officials backed off and allowed athletes to engage in forms of protest such as taking a knee or raising a fist as long as it happened before the start of an event.