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Being politically correct at the Olympics

Filed on January 11, 2020 | Last updated on January 11, 2020 at 10.47 pm

Athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Games will be prohibited from engaging in any political demonstrations unless they are outside the Olympic venue. They would not be allowed to kneel, raise fist, stand aside or basically do anything that can be seen by a camera. Olympians are allowed to tweet though. But why?

The purpose of the Olympics is to allow the best to compete. It is meant to show the best of our abilities, but surely it is a global platform that can be used to draw attention to the problems that exist around the world.

The Olympics should be an opportunity for people to see what the world is like especially in countries where freedom of speech is not a right nor apparent. The most famous Olympic protest was that of Tommie Smith and John Carlos supported by Peter Norman at the 1968 Games which drew attention to the issue of poverty among the black community in the US.

The need for a visually clean games is a result of the concerns about political correctness and the worry about offending some country that should be called out for its wrongdoings. It could be human rights violations, or any other issue.

-Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne, Australia



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