World News – UA – Olympic leader says Games cannot be a ‘market for events’


Olympic leader Thomas Bach warned against allowing the Games to « descend into a protest market » on Saturday after criticizing rule banning demonstrations by athletes

The president of the International Olympic Committee has been criticized for the decision, announced in a year that saw broad support from athletes for the Black Lives Matter movement

But Bach, who won a gold medal in team fencing at the 1976 Olympics, said he learned firsthand about « the political powerlessness of sport » when Germany’s West boycotted the 1980 Games following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

« Athletes embody the values ​​of excellence, solidarity and peace. They express this inclusiveness and mutual respect also by being politically neutral on the playing field and during ceremonies, » Bach wrote in the British newspaper The Guardian

« Sometimes this emphasis on sport has to be reconciled with the freedom of expression that all athletes also enjoy at the Olympic Games. This is why there are rules for the playing field and the ceremonies protecting this sportsmanship

« The unifying power of the Games can only be deployed if everyone shows respect and solidarity with one another. Otherwise, the Games will descend into a market of events of all kinds, dividing and not uniting the world »

Earlier this month, Sebastian Coe, World Athletics Manager and new IOC member, supported the right of athletes to « take the knee » on the Olympic podium, provided it is done within the « absolute respect » for other competitors

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines when he began kneeling during the US National Anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality against black Americans and other minorities

He was ostracized by the league and criticized by US President Donald Trump, but in June the NFL sanctioned « peaceful protests » and world football’s governing body FIFA urged the leagues to do so. evidence of « common sense » when deciding to discipline political activism

In June, American athletes and 1968 Mexico City Games icon John Carlos, famous for raising his fist in salute to black power, called on the IOC to lift the ban on protests

Last month, hundreds of human rights and civil society groups urged the IOC to strip China of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics after its crackdown in Hong Kong and the ‘massive internment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang

Olympic Games, Summer Olympic Games 2020, International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, Tokyo

World News – UA – Olympic chief says Games cannot be a «  events market  »



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