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US World Cup star Rapinoe slams IOC ‘no protest’ policy

Los Angeles (AFP) – United States World Cup icon Megan Rapinoe Friday vowed that athletes “will not be silenced” after the International Olympic Committee warned against political protests at the Tokyo Games.

“So much being done about the protests,” Rapinoe said in an Instagram post. “So little being done about what we are protesting about.

“We will not be silenced.”

Rapinoe’s comments were accompanied by a graphic showing fists raised through the interlocking rings — under the crossed out words “kneeling, hand gestures, signs.”

The post comes after IOC chief Thomas Bach reiterated that athletes, coaches, trainers and officials are banned from political protests on the field of play, at the Olympic Village, during the opening and closing ceremonies and on the medal podium.

“If this political neutrality is not respected, then the Olympic Games will divide, and not unite, the world,” Bach insisted.

The guidelines issued Thursday by the IOC on specific actions that are banned and will draw sanctions, come after two US athletes were reprimanded by the US Olympic Committee for medal podium protests at the Pan American Games in Lima.

Fencer Race Imboden kneeled and hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised a fist in protest. Both received 12 months probation.

Rapinoe has been outspoken on political issues during her career, speaking out about issues including gender equality and racism.

In 2016 she joined former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality in America.

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  1. VicBklyn

    January 10, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    I just watched “Gladiator “ again starring Russell Crowe today. From characters like Maximus!!!to the real ,Jesse Owens, & so forth, the Olympics has always been a unified place for world issues to be voiced, heard, & discussed. The IOC new rule is trash & will be the start of a new global issue if not checked.
    Rapinoe is not asking for special rules, just the normal rules that has been around from the beginning. These rules don’t concern the games or competition. If we let an international organization oppress free speech, this will lead to more problems. Every free government in the world should be challenging the IOC.
    I may not agree with everyone but I won’t know who I do or don’t agree with if I don’t even hear them.

    • Monte Reed

      January 11, 2020 at 8:50 am

      There is a time and place to make your voice heard. During the National Anthem while wearing the National Colors is not the time or place.

  2. Lee

    January 10, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    That’s life! We all have to play by the rules. Be thankful God gave you this huge talent. Everyone knows of how you feel politically. GOOD LUCK!

    • Jon

      January 10, 2020 at 11:37 pm

      Talented and completely obnoxious.

  3. Naste

    January 10, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    This lady is garbage. She constantly wants special attention, special rules, special consideration… And claim oppression if not catered to. Shut up you spoiled brat.

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