2028 Los Angeles Olympics organising committee Chairman Casey Wasserman, in a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, has pushed for allowing for advocacy of anti-racism at the Games.
Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which the IOC says is designed to protect the neutrality of the Olympic movement and sport, states: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”
“Sport is not separate or clear of racism; it is a microcosm of our world where racism exists,” Wasserman wrote in the letter according to Sportico. “I urge you to allow and encourage athletes to advocate against racism anywhere they can, including on and off the field of play.”
“We can start now by having the IOC amend the guidelines that support Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter to allow anti-racist advocacy on the Olympic stage.
“There is no better way to showcase the values of Olympians than by honoring the very values that bring us together. Being anti-racist is not political. Being anti-racist is central to our core human principles and, therefore, an embodiment of everything the Olympic Games symbolises.”
Amid widespread support for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in a number of sporting events in the western world, the IOC has come under increased pressure to amend Rule 50. This has led to the IOC Athletes’ Commission collecting views from around the world as to what forms of protest can be allowed at the Games. They will eventually be presented to the IOC Executive Committee meeting in October.