BALTIMORE, MD – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) released the following statement regarding the International Olympic Committee's ban on political protests:
"It is disappointing that the International Olympic Committee has decided to silence the voices of athletes ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympic games.
In a free society, protest is a legitimate and necessary way for aggrieved communities to hold leaders accountable and to inspire change. Whether it's taking a knee or raising a clenched fist, the demonstrations of the athletes bring awareness to issues that are often neglected or dismissed.
Attempts to silence athletes only serve to intimidate and repress involvement in their human right to call out injustice. We have seen this kind of chilling effect lead to horrific consequences as exemplified in the sexual abuse scandal, where athletics were afraid and punished for speaking out.
We call on the committee to remove this ban and respect the rights of the athletes competing in the Olympics."