IOC Protest Policy: Rule 50 Guidelines
Amid the recent uptick in protest in regards to U.S. based, as well as global, systemic bias and oppression, many have taken aim at the International Olympic Committee's (IOC)'s Rule 50 updated this past January, which explicitly bans "political, religious or ethnic demonstrations," from "any venues(field of play/competition and opening or closing ceremonies) , the Olympic village or the podium,". The reasons stated lean on arguments for the neutrality of sport.
Protests can be constituted as political messaging on clothes or signs, a physical gesture( fist raised or kneeling) or refusing to follow the ceremonies' protocol.
If these rules are not respected, the IOC confirmed there will be repercussions on a "case by case basis" in conjunction with their respective National Olympic Committee.
This reality has drawn criticism from plenty of Olympic-caliber athletes and National Olympic Committees (such as USOPC, OFI and AOC) whom have made clear their intentions to challenge this.
Although, the IOC states in the Rule 50 guidelines that its not completely intolerant to athletes and participants expressing their opinions, albeit, only within the confines of the media( during press conferences, interviews and/or the International Broadcasting and Main Media Centres).
However, as with the case of Tommie Smith, John Carlos and Peter Norman's bold stance on human rights during the 1968 Games 200m Podium celebration to former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick's conspicuous knee in 2017, it seems sometimes an inconvenient disruption of sport's "safe space" of temporary (therefore shallow) unity and harmony could be seen as the only way to truly get a much needed point across.
What do you think? Should they relax this policy or stand firm in adherence?