Team USA athletes,
On behalf of the Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice, I write you today to provide an update on the work of the Protests and Demonstrations Steering Committee, which was charged with assessing the current policies of International Olympic Committee Rule 50 and International Paralympic Committee Handbook Section 2.2 and offering alternate options as it relates to protests and demonstrations within a Games environment.
In collaboration with representatives from the athlete community, Athletes’ Advisory Council, National Governing Bodies, U.S. Olympians & Paralympians Association, U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, and industry and academic thought leaders, the Protests and Demonstrations Steering Committee believes it is a human right to peacefully call upon racial and social injustices during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Furthermore, the Protests and Demonstrations Steering Committee believes that denying the right of respectful demonstrations to athletes, particularly those from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups, runs counter to the Olympic and Paralympic values.
Today is a powerful day for U.S. athletes – former, current and future. The Protests and Demonstrations Steering Committee today shared its recommendations regarding IOC Rule 50 and IPC Section 2.2 with the IOC and IPC. The recommendations, released on International Human Rights Day, are built on the foundation that athletes have a human right to use their voice to call upon racial and social injustices, and that peaceful protests and demonstrations can be a catalyst for change. We will continue to work with the USOPC as we wait for the final ruling from the IOC and IPC on this subject matter.