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Global Athletes Group Calls for IOC to Abolish Rule 50, Which Bans Protests at Olympic Games


An International Olympic Committee (IOC) rule that bans competitors from kneeling in support of anti-racism protests is a breach of human rights, according to the Global Athlete group.

Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter states political, religious or racial propaganda is not permitted in Olympic sites and athletes could face bans.

IOC guidelines issued in January 2020 said this included taking a knee.

Global Athlete said this was “a clear breach of human rights”.

A statement from the movement, in which British Olympic gold-medal cyclist Callum Skinner and world champion Para-powerlifter Ali Jawad are involved, said: “The IOC and IPC’s [International Paralympic Committee] recent statement that athletes who ‘take a knee’… will face ban is a clear breach of human rights.

The pressure on the IOC to change regulations comes amid protests following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died in police custody in Minneapolis after a white officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

The IOC said last week that athletes will decide how best to support the core Olympic values “in a dignified way”.

In the United States, the NFL has said players should be allowed to protest during the anthem and US Soccer has overturned a ban on players kneeling during the anthem.

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