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Aaron Lennon

USA, Team GB take knee ahead of Olympic women’s soccer

Tokyo (AFP) – Players from the United States and Team GB were among those to take a knee ahead of Wednesday’s opening matches in the women’s Olympic football tournament to highlight racial injustice.

All 22 players took part in the gesture prior to kick-off between four-time Olympic champions the US and Sweden in Tokyo, an hour after Team GB and Chile did likewise in Sapporo.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently relaxing some of the rules for protests at the Games, softening a long-standing ban on political protests at the global sporting event.

Athletes will now be allowed to take a knee before play begins to highlight racial injustice, speak to the media and post online about their views, or wear clothing with a protest slogan at a press conference.

But political statements during events, victory ceremonies and at the Olympic Village are still off the cards, the IOC said.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee’s chef de mission said the team would also take a knee before their game later Wednesday in Tokyo against Australia.

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  1. Yespage

    July 22, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Yeah, the IOC doesn’t want to upset dictatorships like China that hate the idea of personal expression as much as the woke-right does in America.

  2. Roberto

    July 22, 2021 at 8:12 am

    It was on CNN, but there was an article I saw (somewhere, maybe the Guardian) that there was a plan to keep this action, taking the knee in protest of racism, off the broadcasts.

  3. greg

    July 21, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    @Debbie, this might be part of the reason. Focused on social media but it’s possible the IOC is strong-arming media to tune it out if they want access

  4. Debbie Hill

    July 21, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    Why are there not pictures of the USA soccer team from this 2021 Olympics taking a knee? People are posting the other time they did this.

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