USA Weightlifting believes that every athlete should be able to advocate for social and racial justice. The right of free speech is protected by the U.S. Constitution and USA Weightlifting believes that a clear and defined protest policy will both protect and allow athletes to share their message in a way that does not interfere with the flow or integrity of competition. This policy applies to conduct during competitions sanctioned or organized by USA Weightlifting.

Any athlete who chooses to use their competition presence to protest may do so peacefully and within the confines of the rules of the sport, so long as the protest does not interfere with other participants, including but not limited to other athletes and spectators, or the competition generally. For example, kneeling during introductions or the 10 minute break is generally permitted.

Any protest that disrupts the normal flow of the event will be grounds for disqualification and removal from the competition. Protests that may pose a danger to, threaten, or disrupt participants (including but not limited other athletes and spectators) are specifically prohibited. For example, any protest activity that delays or distracts an athlete from their lift attempt, or that physically blocks the normal path of participants through the competition site, is prohibited.

This policy is not intended to override Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, or any other rules, policies, or procedures applicable at events sanctioned and/or under the control of a body other than USA Weightlifting, such as the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, the International Weightlifting Federation, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, Pan-American Games, another National Weightlifting Federation, etc.  To the extent that this policy conflicts with the rules, policies, and procedures of such a body at an event sanctioned and/or under the body’s control, that body’s and event’s rules, policies, and procedures shall control.