Committee Bans Kneeling in Protest at 2020 Olympics

John Coates, left, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and Tokyo Olympic organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori, right, attend the IOC and Tokyo 2020 joint press conference in Tokyo Thursday, July 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Kneeling during the National Anthem may be so last decade, but that hasn’t stopped the International Olympic Committee from issuing an official ban on the form of protest.

Making the announcement Thursday, the committee also revealed they’ve banned the practice of raising fists in protest at the upcoming 2020 Summer Games.

“The unique nature of the Olympic Games enables athletes from all over the world to come together in peace and harmony,” the IOC’s new guidelines read. “This is why it is important, on both a personal and a global level, that we keep the venues, the Olympic Village and the podium neutral and free from any form of political, religious or ethnic demonstrations.”

The new guidelines ban all means of political messaging, including wearing patches, headbands or armbands.

Should athletes be allowed to exercise their right to free speech? Or do you agree with the IOC so other countries’ athletes won’t be offended?

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