Seb Coe says athletes should be able to protest at Tokyo 2020 if done in ‘respectful manner’ despite IOC ban

Seb Coe goes against IOC's ban on athletes 'taking a knee' during Tokyo 2020's Olympic Games
Seb Coe goes against IOC's ban on athletes 'taking a knee' during Tokyo 2020's Olympic Games (PA)
12:21pm, Thu 11 Jun 2020
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World Athletics president Seb Coe has said athletes should be allowed to protest ’respectfully’ during Tokyo’s Olympic Games next summer.

The International Olympic Committee has warned athletes they could face a ban if they chose to ’take a knee’ or engage in protests at the Games. 

Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter states ’no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas’.

But Coe believes athletes shouldn’t be banned for protesting and that it seems the current generation are more open to ’speaking out’. 

The 63 year-old told The Independent: "I am reluctant to discourage athletes from expressing their views.

“There is nothing in World Athletics’ Integrity Cody of Conduct to prevent athletes from protesting as long as it is done in a respectful manner, considers other athletes, and does not damage our sport.”

The Tokyo 2020 Games have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will now take place in the summer of 2021.

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