Team GB diver Tom Daley says he supports the right of athletes to protest at Tokyo 2020, despite the International Olympic Committee confirming it will enforce its ban on political demonstrations at the Games.
British team-mate Adam Gemili recently told Eurosport he will not be silenced by the controversial ‘rule 50’. Although the regulation exists, it has rarely been enforced - demonstrated by athletes like Cathy Freeman, who was not punished at Sydney 2000 for carrying the aboriginal flag during her victory lap in Australia.
But the murder of George Floyd by on-duty police officer Derek Chauvin last year sparked protests against racism and inequality around the world, and sport continues to be a platform for voices to be heard.
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As a gay man, Daley pointed out he would be punished if he represented some countries competing at the Olympics and says he will always support anyone campaigning for equal rights.
"I would not blame any person of colour to take a stand at the Olympic Games,” Daley told SNTV after he was picked for a fourth Games.
For me, it doesn't seem like anybody listens until somebody shouts. You can try and go about things in a certain way, but does anything change unless you make something of it?
“I think every athlete will be feeling very different around that subject. But at the end of the day, I think it's the athlete's choice to do what they think is right.
"I don't think that anyone should have the right to protest stripped from them. As long as it's a peaceful protest, you're not hurting anyone. You're just making your views known and I think that's something that's important to be remembered.
It's scary that there's lots of countries that are competing in the Olympic Games or if I was competing for their country, I could be put in jail, I could be killed. And is that fair? I don't think so.
“Just because of where you're born doesn't mean you should have different rights. I feel very strongly about that. And I feel extremely lucky that I live in a country where I don't have the same oppression in that sense."
The IOC says the decision to continue with rule 50 was made after a survey of 3,547 athletes from 185 found that 67% supported a ban on podium protests.
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