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Take note, NFL. The International Olympic Committee will not allow kneeling or other forms of protest at the Olympic Games, which begin next month in Tokyo. Athletes will not be allowed to participate in protests or demonstrations on the field of play, during an official ceremony or at the podium, and those who do will be punished, per a TMZ report.
Kristy Coventry, the IOC’s Athlete’s Commission chief, will likely gain massive social media support across the U.S. after she 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, at the official ceremonies or at the podium.
“So, our recommendation is to preserve the podium, field of play and official ceremonies from any kind of protest or demonstrations or acts perceived as such,” continued Coventry.
America’s most popular pro sports, such as the NFL and NBA, have generally looked the other way when athletes choose to disrespect the flag. But they would be wise to look at the IOC’s recent findings about such demonstrations. According to TMZ, the IOC spent 11 months consulting with various experts and athletes before drawing up its plan. They polled more than 3,500 elite athletes and Olympians, ranging in age from 16 to 55+, and the majority are clearly against the demonstrations.
Specific punishments for violating the rules against protests and demonstrations have yet to be determined, but those who choose to disrespect the country they represent will suffer consequences.