Let the games begin. The Olympic games kicked off yesterday and some rule adjustments were made on the rights of athlete protests. Currently, the rules on expression pertain to Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.” Now, athletes are allowed to express themselves on the field of play before the start of competition or during the introduction of the athlete or team, as long as it isn’t targeted against “people, countries, [organizations] and/or their dignity,” and isn’t disruptive.
The hard part is, what is considered “disruptive?” When it comes to clothing, the IOC will allow athletes to wear apparel at Olympic venues with words such as peace, respect, solidarity, inclusion, and equality, however, phrases such as Black Lives Matter aren’t part of the messaging. We shall see how other protests take shape in an Olympic Games like no other, and which protests Olympic officials will decide are fair play.