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Louisiana Restaurant Protests Saints Decision to Kneel, Doesn't Show Game

Louisiana Restaurant Protests Saints Decision to Kneel, Doesn't Show Game



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A chicken wing restaurant in Louisiana chose not to show the New Orleans Saints football game on their televisions after the team’s players decided to kneel. WOW Café & Wingery of St. Bernard announced via their Facebook page that the wings establishment would not be airing the Saints’ game against the Panthers.

Although WOW Café & Wingery advertises on its Facebook page that it is “the primetime power packed, perfect place to enjoy every yard this season,” the management chose not to air the widely viewed NFL game as they did not support the Saints players’ decision to kneel during the national anthem.

“I apologize to all of our guests but we will not be viewing the Saints game today in house,” they wrote on their Facebook page. “Some of our local players chose to sit during the National Anthem, which will not be supported or praised at WOW. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you.”

The decision was respected and celebrated by many of the Chalmette area restaurant’s diners and almost 3,400 Facebook fans. Messages of support came pouring in from customers.

“Thank you for standing up for what is right,” wrote Facebook user Bruce Fitzgerald. “There is a difference between protesting and disrespect.”

“Proud of you for taking a stand and not showing the Saints game after players took a knee,” posted Elaine Whiteside. “They are a disgrace! I'll be sure to come to your cafe when I visit your town. Thank you for standing for your country!”

However, others took umbrage with the decision.

“These guys aren't protesting the flag, They're protesting inequality, in a nonviolent, exercise of their Constitutional rights. It's a shame that you think a forced display of "patriotism" is desirable — that is so un-American,” wrote commenter Maggie Corchnoy.

Brook Songy Anastasiadis, owner of the WOW Café and Wingery, elaborated as to why she chose not to air the game in an official statement.

“I stand behind my decision and I want to make this clear, the sole reason that I didn’t air the game is because I feel the players disrespected the National Anthem and that is something I hold dear to my heart. That’s how I was raised, I have family members who served our great country in the military and I was taught to respect the National Anthem, the flag, the military and people in general,” she said.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Athletes who make political or social justice protest at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday April 22, 2021, by a global union and an activist group in Germany. The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. (AP Photo/File)

GENEVA – Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year's games, which open on July 23.

The IOC also said that slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed on athlete apparel at Olympic venues, though it approved using the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” on T-shirts.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

Speaking to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia, Schwab said “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players.”

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement, another athlete group, Global Athlete, encouraged athletes to “not allow outdated ‘sports rules’ to supersede your basic human rights.” It said the survey's methods were flawed.

“These types of surveys only empower the majority when it is the minority that want and need to be heard,” said Ireland's Caradh O'Donovan, a karate athlete who helped start Global Athlete.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo. On Thursday, it released a statement saying its plans to update its recently released policy over protests in response to the IOC’s decision have not changed.

“Nor has our commitment to elevating athlete expression and the voices of marginalized populations everywhere in support of racial and social justice,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

And the USOPC's athletes' group also put out a statement saying it was disappointed to see no “meaningful or impactful change to” Rule 50.

“Until the IOC changes its approach of feeding the myth of the neutrality of sport or protecting the status quo, the voices of marginalized athletes will continue to be silenced,” the athletes' group leadership said in a statement.

Both Schwab and Herber said minorities would be protected from discrimination if the IOC recognized the human rights of athletes to express themselves.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement's content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

Athletes breaching Rule 50 can be sanctioned by three bodies: the IOC, their sport's governing body, and their national Olympic committee (NOC).

Leaders of two of the biggest Olympic bodies — World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and FIFA president Gianni Infantino — have publicly opposed punishing their athletes for social justice statements. Coe gave his annual award last December to Smith, Carlos and the other sprinter on the 200-meter podium in Mexico City, Peter Norman of Australia.

In the past, the NOCs have played a major role in sanctioning athletes who run afoul of Olympic rules. But with the USOPC taking itself out of that role, Schwab noted “there is enormous confusion over responsibility to sanction.”

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Athletes who make political or social justice protest at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday April 22, 2021, by a global union and an activist group in Germany. The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. (AP Photo/File)

GENEVA – Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year's games, which open on July 23.

The IOC also said that slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed on athlete apparel at Olympic venues, though it approved using the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” on T-shirts.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

Speaking to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia, Schwab said “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players.”

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement, another athlete group, Global Athlete, encouraged athletes to “not allow outdated ‘sports rules’ to supersede your basic human rights.” It said the survey's methods were flawed.

“These types of surveys only empower the majority when it is the minority that want and need to be heard,” said Ireland's Caradh O'Donovan, a karate athlete who helped start Global Athlete.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo. On Thursday, it released a statement saying its plans to update its recently released policy over protests in response to the IOC’s decision have not changed.

“Nor has our commitment to elevating athlete expression and the voices of marginalized populations everywhere in support of racial and social justice,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

And the USOPC's athletes' group also put out a statement saying it was disappointed to see no “meaningful or impactful change to” Rule 50.

“Until the IOC changes its approach of feeding the myth of the neutrality of sport or protecting the status quo, the voices of marginalized athletes will continue to be silenced,” the athletes' group leadership said in a statement.

Both Schwab and Herber said minorities would be protected from discrimination if the IOC recognized the human rights of athletes to express themselves.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement's content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

Athletes breaching Rule 50 can be sanctioned by three bodies: the IOC, their sport's governing body, and their national Olympic committee (NOC).

Leaders of two of the biggest Olympic bodies — World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and FIFA president Gianni Infantino — have publicly opposed punishing their athletes for social justice statements. Coe gave his annual award last December to Smith, Carlos and the other sprinter on the 200-meter podium in Mexico City, Peter Norman of Australia.

In the past, the NOCs have played a major role in sanctioning athletes who run afoul of Olympic rules. But with the USOPC taking itself out of that role, Schwab noted “there is enormous confusion over responsibility to sanction.”

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Athletes who make political or social justice protest at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday April 22, 2021, by a global union and an activist group in Germany. The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. (AP Photo/File)

GENEVA – Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year's games, which open on July 23.

The IOC also said that slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed on athlete apparel at Olympic venues, though it approved using the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” on T-shirts.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

Speaking to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia, Schwab said “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players.”

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement, another athlete group, Global Athlete, encouraged athletes to “not allow outdated ‘sports rules’ to supersede your basic human rights.” It said the survey's methods were flawed.

“These types of surveys only empower the majority when it is the minority that want and need to be heard,” said Ireland's Caradh O'Donovan, a karate athlete who helped start Global Athlete.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo. On Thursday, it released a statement saying its plans to update its recently released policy over protests in response to the IOC’s decision have not changed.

“Nor has our commitment to elevating athlete expression and the voices of marginalized populations everywhere in support of racial and social justice,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

And the USOPC's athletes' group also put out a statement saying it was disappointed to see no “meaningful or impactful change to” Rule 50.

“Until the IOC changes its approach of feeding the myth of the neutrality of sport or protecting the status quo, the voices of marginalized athletes will continue to be silenced,” the athletes' group leadership said in a statement.

Both Schwab and Herber said minorities would be protected from discrimination if the IOC recognized the human rights of athletes to express themselves.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement's content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

Athletes breaching Rule 50 can be sanctioned by three bodies: the IOC, their sport's governing body, and their national Olympic committee (NOC).

Leaders of two of the biggest Olympic bodies — World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and FIFA president Gianni Infantino — have publicly opposed punishing their athletes for social justice statements. Coe gave his annual award last December to Smith, Carlos and the other sprinter on the 200-meter podium in Mexico City, Peter Norman of Australia.

In the past, the NOCs have played a major role in sanctioning athletes who run afoul of Olympic rules. But with the USOPC taking itself out of that role, Schwab noted “there is enormous confusion over responsibility to sanction.”

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Athletes who make political or social justice protest at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday April 22, 2021, by a global union and an activist group in Germany. The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. (AP Photo/File)

GENEVA – Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year's games, which open on July 23.

The IOC also said that slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed on athlete apparel at Olympic venues, though it approved using the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” on T-shirts.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

Speaking to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia, Schwab said “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players.”

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement, another athlete group, Global Athlete, encouraged athletes to “not allow outdated ‘sports rules’ to supersede your basic human rights.” It said the survey's methods were flawed.

“These types of surveys only empower the majority when it is the minority that want and need to be heard,” said Ireland's Caradh O'Donovan, a karate athlete who helped start Global Athlete.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo. On Thursday, it released a statement saying its plans to update its recently released policy over protests in response to the IOC’s decision have not changed.

“Nor has our commitment to elevating athlete expression and the voices of marginalized populations everywhere in support of racial and social justice,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

And the USOPC's athletes' group also put out a statement saying it was disappointed to see no “meaningful or impactful change to” Rule 50.

“Until the IOC changes its approach of feeding the myth of the neutrality of sport or protecting the status quo, the voices of marginalized athletes will continue to be silenced,” the athletes' group leadership said in a statement.

Both Schwab and Herber said minorities would be protected from discrimination if the IOC recognized the human rights of athletes to express themselves.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement's content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

Athletes breaching Rule 50 can be sanctioned by three bodies: the IOC, their sport's governing body, and their national Olympic committee (NOC).

Leaders of two of the biggest Olympic bodies — World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and FIFA president Gianni Infantino — have publicly opposed punishing their athletes for social justice statements. Coe gave his annual award last December to Smith, Carlos and the other sprinter on the 200-meter podium in Mexico City, Peter Norman of Australia.

In the past, the NOCs have played a major role in sanctioning athletes who run afoul of Olympic rules. But with the USOPC taking itself out of that role, Schwab noted “there is enormous confusion over responsibility to sanction.”

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Athletes who make political or social justice protest at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday April 22, 2021, by a global union and an activist group in Germany. The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. (AP Photo/File)

GENEVA – Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year's games, which open on July 23.

The IOC also said that slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed on athlete apparel at Olympic venues, though it approved using the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” on T-shirts.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

Speaking to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia, Schwab said “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players.”

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement, another athlete group, Global Athlete, encouraged athletes to “not allow outdated ‘sports rules’ to supersede your basic human rights.” It said the survey's methods were flawed.

“These types of surveys only empower the majority when it is the minority that want and need to be heard,” said Ireland's Caradh O'Donovan, a karate athlete who helped start Global Athlete.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo. On Thursday, it released a statement saying its plans to update its recently released policy over protests in response to the IOC’s decision have not changed.

“Nor has our commitment to elevating athlete expression and the voices of marginalized populations everywhere in support of racial and social justice,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

And the USOPC's athletes' group also put out a statement saying it was disappointed to see no “meaningful or impactful change to” Rule 50.

“Until the IOC changes its approach of feeding the myth of the neutrality of sport or protecting the status quo, the voices of marginalized athletes will continue to be silenced,” the athletes' group leadership said in a statement.

Both Schwab and Herber said minorities would be protected from discrimination if the IOC recognized the human rights of athletes to express themselves.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement's content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

Athletes breaching Rule 50 can be sanctioned by three bodies: the IOC, their sport's governing body, and their national Olympic committee (NOC).

Leaders of two of the biggest Olympic bodies — World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and FIFA president Gianni Infantino — have publicly opposed punishing their athletes for social justice statements. Coe gave his annual award last December to Smith, Carlos and the other sprinter on the 200-meter podium in Mexico City, Peter Norman of Australia.

In the past, the NOCs have played a major role in sanctioning athletes who run afoul of Olympic rules. But with the USOPC taking itself out of that role, Schwab noted “there is enormous confusion over responsibility to sanction.”

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Athletes who make political or social justice protest at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday April 22, 2021, by a global union and an activist group in Germany. The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. (AP Photo/File)

GENEVA – Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year's games, which open on July 23.

The IOC also said that slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed on athlete apparel at Olympic venues, though it approved using the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” on T-shirts.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

Speaking to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia, Schwab said “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players.”

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement, another athlete group, Global Athlete, encouraged athletes to “not allow outdated ‘sports rules’ to supersede your basic human rights.” It said the survey's methods were flawed.

“These types of surveys only empower the majority when it is the minority that want and need to be heard,” said Ireland's Caradh O'Donovan, a karate athlete who helped start Global Athlete.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo. On Thursday, it released a statement saying its plans to update its recently released policy over protests in response to the IOC’s decision have not changed.

“Nor has our commitment to elevating athlete expression and the voices of marginalized populations everywhere in support of racial and social justice,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

And the USOPC's athletes' group also put out a statement saying it was disappointed to see no “meaningful or impactful change to” Rule 50.

“Until the IOC changes its approach of feeding the myth of the neutrality of sport or protecting the status quo, the voices of marginalized athletes will continue to be silenced,” the athletes' group leadership said in a statement.

Both Schwab and Herber said minorities would be protected from discrimination if the IOC recognized the human rights of athletes to express themselves.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement's content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

Athletes breaching Rule 50 can be sanctioned by three bodies: the IOC, their sport's governing body, and their national Olympic committee (NOC).

Leaders of two of the biggest Olympic bodies — World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and FIFA president Gianni Infantino — have publicly opposed punishing their athletes for social justice statements. Coe gave his annual award last December to Smith, Carlos and the other sprinter on the 200-meter podium in Mexico City, Peter Norman of Australia.

In the past, the NOCs have played a major role in sanctioning athletes who run afoul of Olympic rules. But with the USOPC taking itself out of that role, Schwab noted “there is enormous confusion over responsibility to sanction.”

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Athletes who make political or social justice protest at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday April 22, 2021, by a global union and an activist group in Germany. The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. (AP Photo/File)

GENEVA – Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year's games, which open on July 23.

The IOC also said that slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed on athlete apparel at Olympic venues, though it approved using the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” on T-shirts.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

Speaking to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia, Schwab said “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players.”

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement, another athlete group, Global Athlete, encouraged athletes to “not allow outdated ‘sports rules’ to supersede your basic human rights.” It said the survey's methods were flawed.

“These types of surveys only empower the majority when it is the minority that want and need to be heard,” said Ireland's Caradh O'Donovan, a karate athlete who helped start Global Athlete.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo. On Thursday, it released a statement saying its plans to update its recently released policy over protests in response to the IOC’s decision have not changed.

“Nor has our commitment to elevating athlete expression and the voices of marginalized populations everywhere in support of racial and social justice,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

And the USOPC's athletes' group also put out a statement saying it was disappointed to see no “meaningful or impactful change to” Rule 50.

“Until the IOC changes its approach of feeding the myth of the neutrality of sport or protecting the status quo, the voices of marginalized athletes will continue to be silenced,” the athletes' group leadership said in a statement.

Both Schwab and Herber said minorities would be protected from discrimination if the IOC recognized the human rights of athletes to express themselves.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement's content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

Athletes breaching Rule 50 can be sanctioned by three bodies: the IOC, their sport's governing body, and their national Olympic committee (NOC).

Leaders of two of the biggest Olympic bodies — World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and FIFA president Gianni Infantino — have publicly opposed punishing their athletes for social justice statements. Coe gave his annual award last December to Smith, Carlos and the other sprinter on the 200-meter podium in Mexico City, Peter Norman of Australia.

In the past, the NOCs have played a major role in sanctioning athletes who run afoul of Olympic rules. But with the USOPC taking itself out of that role, Schwab noted “there is enormous confusion over responsibility to sanction.”

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Athletes who make political or social justice protest at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday April 22, 2021, by a global union and an activist group in Germany. The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. (AP Photo/File)

GENEVA – Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year's games, which open on July 23.

The IOC also said that slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed on athlete apparel at Olympic venues, though it approved using the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” on T-shirts.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

Speaking to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia, Schwab said “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players.”

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement, another athlete group, Global Athlete, encouraged athletes to “not allow outdated ‘sports rules’ to supersede your basic human rights.” It said the survey's methods were flawed.

“These types of surveys only empower the majority when it is the minority that want and need to be heard,” said Ireland's Caradh O'Donovan, a karate athlete who helped start Global Athlete.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo. On Thursday, it released a statement saying its plans to update its recently released policy over protests in response to the IOC’s decision have not changed.

“Nor has our commitment to elevating athlete expression and the voices of marginalized populations everywhere in support of racial and social justice,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

And the USOPC's athletes' group also put out a statement saying it was disappointed to see no “meaningful or impactful change to” Rule 50.

“Until the IOC changes its approach of feeding the myth of the neutrality of sport or protecting the status quo, the voices of marginalized athletes will continue to be silenced,” the athletes' group leadership said in a statement.

Both Schwab and Herber said minorities would be protected from discrimination if the IOC recognized the human rights of athletes to express themselves.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement's content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

Athletes breaching Rule 50 can be sanctioned by three bodies: the IOC, their sport's governing body, and their national Olympic committee (NOC).

Leaders of two of the biggest Olympic bodies — World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and FIFA president Gianni Infantino — have publicly opposed punishing their athletes for social justice statements. Coe gave his annual award last December to Smith, Carlos and the other sprinter on the 200-meter podium in Mexico City, Peter Norman of Australia.

In the past, the NOCs have played a major role in sanctioning athletes who run afoul of Olympic rules. But with the USOPC taking itself out of that role, Schwab noted “there is enormous confusion over responsibility to sanction.”

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Athletes who make political or social justice protest at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday April 22, 2021, by a global union and an activist group in Germany. The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. (AP Photo/File)

GENEVA – Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year's games, which open on July 23.

The IOC also said that slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed on athlete apparel at Olympic venues, though it approved using the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” on T-shirts.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

Speaking to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia, Schwab said “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players.”

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement, another athlete group, Global Athlete, encouraged athletes to “not allow outdated ‘sports rules’ to supersede your basic human rights.” It said the survey's methods were flawed.

“These types of surveys only empower the majority when it is the minority that want and need to be heard,” said Ireland's Caradh O'Donovan, a karate athlete who helped start Global Athlete.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo. On Thursday, it released a statement saying its plans to update its recently released policy over protests in response to the IOC’s decision have not changed.

“Nor has our commitment to elevating athlete expression and the voices of marginalized populations everywhere in support of racial and social justice,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

And the USOPC's athletes' group also put out a statement saying it was disappointed to see no “meaningful or impactful change to” Rule 50.

“Until the IOC changes its approach of feeding the myth of the neutrality of sport or protecting the status quo, the voices of marginalized athletes will continue to be silenced,” the athletes' group leadership said in a statement.

Both Schwab and Herber said minorities would be protected from discrimination if the IOC recognized the human rights of athletes to express themselves.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement's content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

Athletes breaching Rule 50 can be sanctioned by three bodies: the IOC, their sport's governing body, and their national Olympic committee (NOC).

Leaders of two of the biggest Olympic bodies — World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and FIFA president Gianni Infantino — have publicly opposed punishing their athletes for social justice statements. Coe gave his annual award last December to Smith, Carlos and the other sprinter on the 200-meter podium in Mexico City, Peter Norman of Australia.

In the past, the NOCs have played a major role in sanctioning athletes who run afoul of Olympic rules. But with the USOPC taking itself out of that role, Schwab noted “there is enormous confusion over responsibility to sanction.”

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1968 file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Athletes who make political or social justice protest at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday April 22, 2021, by a global union and an activist group in Germany. The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies. (AP Photo/File)

GENEVA – Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission should clarify what kind of punishment before this year's games, which open on July 23.

The IOC also said that slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” will not be allowed on athlete apparel at Olympic venues, though it approved using the words “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” on T-shirts.

The IOC’s athletes’ commission cited support to uphold Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter from more than two-thirds of about 3,500 replies from consulting athlete groups.

“This is precisely the outcome we expected,” said Brendan Schwab, executive director of the World Players Association union. “The Olympic movement doesn’t understand its own history better than the athletes.”

Speaking to The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Australia, Schwab said “Any athlete sanctioned at the Tokyo Olympics will have the full backing of the World Players.”

The independent group representing German athletes pledged legal backing for its national team.

“Should German athletes decide to peacefully stand up for fundamental values such as fighting racism during the Olympic Games, they can rely on the legal support of Athleten Deutschland,” Johannes Herber, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement, another athlete group, Global Athlete, encouraged athletes to “not allow outdated ‘sports rules’ to supersede your basic human rights.” It said the survey's methods were flawed.

“These types of surveys only empower the majority when it is the minority that want and need to be heard,” said Ireland's Caradh O'Donovan, a karate athlete who helped start Global Athlete.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo. On Thursday, it released a statement saying its plans to update its recently released policy over protests in response to the IOC’s decision have not changed.

“Nor has our commitment to elevating athlete expression and the voices of marginalized populations everywhere in support of racial and social justice,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said.

And the USOPC's athletes' group also put out a statement saying it was disappointed to see no “meaningful or impactful change to” Rule 50.

“Until the IOC changes its approach of feeding the myth of the neutrality of sport or protecting the status quo, the voices of marginalized athletes will continue to be silenced,” the athletes' group leadership said in a statement.

Both Schwab and Herber said minorities would be protected from discrimination if the IOC recognized the human rights of athletes to express themselves.

The IOC erred by trying to regulate the place where a protest might take place instead of the statement's content, Schwab said, adding athletes’ freedom of expression in Olympic venues “should be respected, protected and indeed promoted.”

Athletes breaching Rule 50 can be sanctioned by three bodies: the IOC, their sport's governing body, and their national Olympic committee (NOC).

Leaders of two of the biggest Olympic bodies — World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and FIFA president Gianni Infantino — have publicly opposed punishing their athletes for social justice statements. Coe gave his annual award last December to Smith, Carlos and the other sprinter on the 200-meter podium in Mexico City, Peter Norman of Australia.

In the past, the NOCs have played a major role in sanctioning athletes who run afoul of Olympic rules. But with the USOPC taking itself out of that role, Schwab noted “there is enormous confusion over responsibility to sanction.”

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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