U.S. Olympic athletes can protest at the Olympic trials. Kneeling or raising a clenched fist on the podium will be acceptable. At the start line during the national anthem, athletes can protest too.
Athletes can wear a hat or mask with messages like "Black Lives Matter," "equality," or "justice." Plus, they can use social media and the press to get their message out.
The United States Olympic Committee said the guidelines are only for the U.S. Olympic trials, not the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for this summer. The International Olympic Committee's Rule 50 prohibits protests and demonstrations.
This did not start in a vacuum. In 2016, Colin Kaepernick and a few others started kneeling during the national anthem.
While honoring the successful 2016 Olympic team at the White House, President Obama and Vice President Biden honored Olympic sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Both were removed from the 1968 Olympics after raising black gloved fists on the medal podium as the national anthem played.
Steve McConkey, 4 WINDS USA president, stands up worldwide for Christian athletes. He publicly denounced Obama and Biden for honoring the 1968 Olympic protesters at the White House. During that presentation, Obama raised his clenched fist in support of the protesters.
In 2003, McConkey was the only person publicly standing against the International Olympic Committee's pro-transgender policies.
"Will Christian athletes be able to give thanks to Christ after their performances?" asks McConkey. "Athletes who will represent the United States need to stand and not protest during the national anthem. The majority of people are turned off by these protests.
"All this will backfire on the athletes. This is not a time to address problems. If the U.S. Olympic Committee was serious about addressing problems, they would protest China hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics where Christians are persecuted on a regular basis."
Founded in 1988, 4 WINDS USA stands up worldwide for Christian athletes. Starting in world-class track and field ministries in 1981, Steve and Liz McConkey have worked through nine Olympics. In 2013, McConkey started standing up worldwide for Christian athletes in all sports. He was a successful USA National Track and Field club coach (82-92) and has run over 68,000 miles. McConkey graduated with honors from Western Kentucky University (Master of Public Health), Minnesota State University, Mankato (B.S. in community health) and Webster High School.
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