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Athletes taking part in the Tokyo Olympics will not be allowed to wear Black Lives Matter apparel during the ceremonies or on the field to play, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed.

The decision upholds the Olympics’ Rule 50, which addresses ‘demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda’ on the playing field, at the medal stand, or during the Games’ official ceremony.

The IOC has said items of clothing featuring slogans like “Black Lives Matter” will not be permitted but apparel featuring the words “peace,” “respect,” “Solidarity,” “Inclusion,” and “equality,” will be tolerated.

The phrase “BLM” will be permitted at press conferences, during interviews, and at team meetings.

The IOC has also emphasized that the athletes involved in protests and demonstrations while citing taking a knee, raising a fist, or wearing outfits that labeled Black Lives matter on the field, podium, or during ceremonies will face punishment.

Last year, the committee surveyed 3,500 athletes and 70% reportedly said it wasn’t “appropriate to bring demonstrations to express their views” while participating in the Olympics or attending the opening and closing ceremonies.

Speaking following the development IOC’s Athletes’ Commission Chief Kirsty Coventry said the committee would not tolerate any inconvenience to distract the competition.

“Our recommendation is to preserve the podium, the field of play, and official ceremonies from any kind of protest or demonstration or acts perceived as such,” said Coventry.

The Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23.

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Chisomo Kambale
Chisomo Kambalehttp://faceofmalawi
Writer, Journalist, Videographer, Voice-Over Artist

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