The International Olympic Committee has officially stamped out the idea of social justice protests at the 2021 summer games in Tokyo.
In other words, athletes who choose to kneel, raise fists in a sign of “power,” or take part in any other displays that signify social justice will be punished by the Olympics’ governing body.
“The IOC AC is very concerned about the risk of politicisation of the athletes and the risk that athletes may be put under external pressure,” the IOC said in a statement. “It is important to protect athletes from the potential consequences of being placed in a position where they may be forced to take a public position on a particular domestic or international issue, regardless of their beliefs.”
According to a poll of more than 3,500 athletes from 180 countries, 70% of athletes think protests on the field of play are inappropriate, per the Washington Examiner. Of those, 67% opposed protests on medal stands.
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to begin on July 23 after being postponed last year because of COVID-19 fears.
“Over the past few years, athletes of all backgrounds in every major sports league have protested during the national anthem by taking a knee,” the Examiner reported. “Polling released in March showed that 34% of people have watched sports less as a direct result of those protests.”