IOC rule against kneeling breaches human rights – Global Athlete

The practice of kneeling during the anthem was started by former NFL star Colin Kaepernick (centre) in 2016 to highlight racial inequality.
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An International Olympic Committee (IOC) rule that bans competitors from kneeling in support of anti-racism protests breaches human rights, says an international athlete-led movement.

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 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-power-lifter, Ali Jawad, are involved, said: “The IOC and IPC’s [International Paralympic Committee] recent statement that athletes who ‘take a knee’… will face bans is a clear breach of human rights.

“Athletes around the globe were awestruck with this statement and demanded change.”

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. (BBC Sport)

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