IOC Says Rule Banning Protests Will Remain in Place at 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIIJune 9, 2020

FILE - In this June 3, 2020, photo, the Olympic rings float in the water at sunset in the Odaiba section in Tokyo. The Japanese public is being prepared for the reality of next year's postponed Olympics where athletes are likely to face quarantines, spectators will be fewer, and the delay will cost taxpayers billions of dollars. In the last several weeks, IOC President Thomas Bach has given selected interviews outside Japan and hinted at empty stadiums, quarantines and virus testing. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)
Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press

In January, the International Olympic Committee released guidelines for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that included a ban on "gestures of a political nature, like a hand gesture or kneeling."

The Tokyo Games were postponed to summer 2021 in late March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the IOC confirmed to the Telegraph's Ben Bloom on Tuesday "the guidelines are still in place" against protests.

The United States men's and women's national teams called for U.S. Soccer to reconsider its ban on kneeling during the anthem Monday:

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem before games in 2016, and the movement spread across the NFL and sports landscape. Kneeling in protest has reemerged as a topic of discussion after the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in Minneapolis police custody May 25.

Floyd was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital after since-fired officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the back of his neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while the three other officers with Chauvin were charged with aiding and abetting murder.

There have been protests across the globe, including in all 50 United States, demanding reform related to police brutality and systemic racial injustice.       

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