The Olympics are not the right place for athletes to step on their “soap boxes,” former British star Fatima Whitbread said.
Whitbread, who won bronze in the javelin in Los Angeles in 1984 and a silver in Seoul four years later, said the Games should be free of “people expressing how they feel” and “creating a wedge. “.
Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith had said earlier that preventing athletes from kneeling in Tokyo would be “totally unworkable”.
But Whitbread, 60, didn’t seem impressed with the activism in the sport at the moment.
“In the 1980s, we were focused on continuing the business,” she told Sky News.
“Today there seem to be more forums and people expressing their feelings – and I really don’t think the Olympics is that place.
“There is a time and place for it and I don’t think the Olympics is about it.
“For me, the Olympics are about bringing people together. Sport is a level playing field.”
She added that the event had to stay “pure” and “stay focused on what sport is”.
Without saying whether she would kneel in Tokyo herself, Asher-Smith said that “protesting and speaking out” is a “basic human right”.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had “no choice” when it decided to lift restrictions on demonstrations, the track star said.
The IOC lifted its Rule 50 earlier this month. The regulations state that “no kind of political, religious or racial demonstration or propaganda is allowed on the venues, venues or other Olympic areas”.
Had he stayed in place, Asher-Smith said there would have been “a lot of athlete protests at …
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This notice was published: 2021-07-23 07:36:00