Richmond Times-Dispatch

Listening to athletes, USOPC won’t punish Olympic protests

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The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee heeded calls from American athletes by announcing Thursday that it won’t sanction them for raising their fists or kneeling on the medals stand at next year’s Tokyo Games and beyond.

The decision is a response to a set of recommenda­tions from a USOPC athlete group that seeks changes to the much-maligned

Rule 50 of the IOC Olympic Charter, which prohibits inside-the-lines protests at the games.

It was this rule that most famously led to the ouster of U.S. medalists TommieSmit­h and John Carlos from the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City after the sprinters raised their fists on the medals stand to protest racial inequality in the United States.

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