2021 Olympics' Ban Black Lives Matter Apparel
The death of George Floyd in 2020, brought a tremendous uprising in the black community. the movement, Black Lives Matter, was shown in a protest. Even some athletes take a knee, or a fist, to protest against racism. Also wearing shirts that read, “Black Lives Matter”, but now those shirts, have been banned if worn in the Olympics.
The IOC, International Olympic Committee, announced that they would ban any sort of “political, social, or ideological protest.” They also said that there should be no taking a knee, raising a fist, or wearing clothing items that say Black Lives Matter, unless willing to face punishment. All around the world, athletes have worn these statement shirts or did an action (taking a knee/fist) in an act of solidarity. In America, athletes take a knee during the national anthem to protest against police brutality. Now, this will not be permitted and athletes can face punishments. However, slogans or statement T-shirts with the words 'peace', 'respect', 'solidarity', and 'equality' will be allowed at the 2021 Games.
The IOC held a review last year, speaking to 3,500 athletes about their opinions on political protest at the Games. “The IOC said 70% of athletes polled do not think it’s appropriate to demonstrate during competition, and 67% said it’s not appropriate either on the medal stand.” (From blackentrerprise.com) Cheif of IOC’s Athlete's Commission, Kristy Coventry, spoke with the athletes who claim to support the ban on Black Lives Matter. Coventry also said, “A very clear majority of athletes said that they think it's not appropriate to demonstrate or express their views on the field of play.”
However, others oppose this, thinking that's it’s will send the wrong message. American Attorney, Ben Crump who represented George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, decided to share his thoughts in a tweet saying, “The Olympics will now BAN any athlete who wears a BLM shirt, kneels during the national anthem, or raises a fist to oppose racism. This sends the WRONG message about basic human rights & I urge the Olympic Committee to reverse this decision!” Along with this opinion, others also say how this is a movement to showcase the racial injust happening against the African Community.
The IOC has a rule which “prohibits ‘demonstrational or political, religious or racial propaganda," which now includes Black Lives Matter apparel. The women of the tv talk show, “The View” shared their thoughts on this. Sunny Hostin, talks about the importance of expressing and advocating for social issues. Saying how this “felt like a direct assault on the freedom of expression of Black Athletes, in particular...” Joy Behar, also on “The View”, says “Black Lives Matter is a political statement it's just a statement of fact...” Other citizens also comment on this saying, “If I want politics, I’ll just watch the News”. Another Twitter user says, “I’m a BLM supporter, but imagine if everyone went to the Olympics to do politics. Imagine every country airing their political problems”
The act banning BLM apparel has caused many people to be upset, and others to not see an issue with doing so. While individuals protest against this, others say that “politics”, referring to BLM, should not be involved in an Olympic Games.z