Following up on a decision made last December to allow Olympic athletes to “peacefully and respectfully” engage in demonstrations for racial and social justice, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee released guidelines Tuesday delineating which forms of protest are “acceptable” during this year’s Olympic trials.
As The Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow reported, the USOPC decided in December that athletes participating in 2020 Olympic trials “will not be sanctioned for ‘peacefully and respectfully’ demonstrating in support of social justice causes,” and that the committee planned to do away with guidelines effectively preventing any kind of “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” at Olympic sites or during official ceremonies.
The USOPC released its updated guidelines on Tuesday, clearing the way for Olympic athletes to engage in protest, though the guidelines do severely limit the options athletes have for demonstrating, according to ABC News.
“The USOPC released a nine-page document Tuesday to offer guidance about the sort of ‘facial and social demonstrations’ that will and won’t be allowed by the hundreds who will compete in coming months for spots on the U.S. team,” the outlet reported. “The document comes three months after the federation, heeding calls from its athletes, determined it would not enforce longstanding rules that ban protests at the Olympics.”
Athletes will be allowed to raise their fists or kneel during the national anthem, and athletes will be allowed to wear “hats or face masks” with specific political phrases like “Black Lives Matter,” or words like “equality” or “justice.” Athletes are prevented from wearing any recognized hate symbol and cannot protest by impeding the field of play or by causing trouble for other athletes during competition.