The Tokyo Olympics Will Ban BLM Apparel From its Fields


Garrett Duncan, Contributor

The 2021 Olympics will be held in Tokyo, and begin on July 23.  It may be different from other Olympics, though, as no fans are allowed to attend in person.  However, that is not the only controversial choice made for the Tokyo Olympics. A specific rule has been made clear for this year’s Olympics.  No BLM (Black Lives Matter) apparel is allowed during the games. (thegrio)  This rule does not apply to some parts of the Olympics, such as press conferences, interviews, or team meetings, but while people are competing they can not wear anything supporting the BLM movement or organization.

The reasoning behind this is that BLM is a political organization, or that the statement is inherently racial, making it a political or racial statement.  Under rule 50 of the Olympics, “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas” (The International Olympic Committee).  Using this rule, the Tokyo Olympic leaders made a clear statement that BLM Apparel, like other merchandise for politics, can not be worn during the Olympic Games.

The ban was very specific, with words like “peace,” “respect,” “solidarity,” “inclusion” and “equality” still being allowed on clothing. (Fox News)  Only the specific statement “Black Lives Matter” was banned.  Tokyo also tried to ban protests, like kneeling or raising a fist, but the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee refused to do anything to athletes who did protest.  Other countries have also refused to punish athletes who protest.  (Fox News)