Athletes partaking in the Tokyo Olympics will not be allowed to wear Black Lives Matter apparel at Games ceremonies this summer, officials have today confirmed.
Safe to say, there have been some strong reactions to the news online...
This comes just weeks after they announced a ban on athletes taking the knee.
The Tokyo Olympics, which are set to take place this summer after being canceled last year, announced last month that they will be prohibiting both the acts of taking the knee and raising a fist.
Since 2016, sportsmen and women across the globe have been taking a knee or raising a fist to show their solidarity with the fight against racism.
The movement, which was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, was met with huge controversy and even cost Kaepernick his career.
However, athletes continued to protest.
Despite US Soccer threatening to disqualify any sports player who partook in the act, players from all over the world continued to take a stand.
So, when the Olympics' announced that they would be enforcing a ban on the symbolic act during this year's games...
It became a big talking point online.
Many were furious with the decision...
Imagine banning human rights💁🏾♀️— lee (@mok_lebo) May 6, 2021
And even slammed the committee as racists.
Wow just shows how racist the world can be, why not united instead of divide— Sam (@PercyBros) April 22, 2021
Take polls when the majority is white people who have no problem with oppressing black people. Taking a knee is a part of free speech and human rights.— Saif Molla (@saifmolla07) April 22, 2021
It is not mandatory but people who want to do it should be allowed to.
Sounds utterly fair— andrea (@ashtroman_) May 5, 2021
Wow. How can you not support this? That is mindblowing. The Black Power salute happened in 1968 and is still talked about, for good reason. Really shocking misread of tone.— Bullseyetweets (@Bullseyetweets1) April 22, 2021
However, on the other hand, many people have celebrated the move...
This is awesome. Let's get back to sports being a competition and not some platform to protest— Crypto Degen 💎 (@brobrocapital) May 5, 2021
Pointing out that politics needs to be kept away from sport.
At last, something that makes sense.— ο καλός γείτονας (@VforVangelis) May 5, 2021
Some sanity at last in sports.— MarketsWork - 96.5% (@InvislbleHand) May 5, 2021
I'll watch this untill the end. Olympics is about unity not division.— Matt Cruz (@Mattheu76981245) May 5, 2021
Japan, the country with common sense— BabyShark (@SharkDooooo) May 5, 2021
The IOC's Rule 50 forbids any kind of "demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda" in venues and any other Olympic area...
With the Games body concluding that the rule should be maintained following an athlete consultation, as per The Daily Mail.
But, despite the backlash, the IOC's Athletes' Commission chief, Kirsty Coventry, who led a review of the new rules, said the majority of athletes consulted were against any protests within the fields of play or the podiums.
"I would not want something to distract from my competition and take away from that. That is how I still feel today," Coventry, a former Olympic swimming champion for Zimbabwe, said in an online presentation.
The International Olympic Committee says it surveyed more than 3,500 athletes over the past year.
They say they found that seventy percent said it was "not appropriate to demonstrate or express their views" on the field of play or at the opening or closing ceremony.
And now, mere weeks on from that announcement...
The committee have come forward once more to further intensify their ban.
Officials today confirmed that athletes will be prohibited from wearing any Black Lives Matter apparel.
This includes t-shirts, badges, hats, and jewellery.
The committee is yet to comment further on their new ban.
The Tokyo Olympics are set to take place on Friday, July 23rd.