NZOC supports athletes’ right to speak up amid racism protests

WELLINGTON: The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) has told its athletes they should speak openly about social and political issues, especially those involving racism, as calls to change rules restricting protest at the Olympics grows louder.

Several major sports organisations have already moved to allow protests at their events following George Floyd's death in US police custody on May 25, while athletes globally have offered support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

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"We support our athletes as they share their voices, and we look to ourselves for ways to further strengthen our commitment to equality," NZOC President Mike Stanley said in a statement on Thursday (Jun 11) following a board meeting.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) specifically bans political protests at Olympic Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach said on Wednesday it has embarked on a process of engagement with athletes about "expressing support for the principles enshrined in the Olympic charter in a dignified way".

Floyd's death has seen Black Lives Matter protests spread globally, including to street marches in New Zealand.

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Several New Zealand athletes and rugby players havRead More – Source