Swim Poll of the Week: 63% Believe Athletes Should Be Allowed by IOC to Stage Peaceful Protests on the Podium


This is the Swim Poll of the Week for Thursday June 18, 2020, sponsored by Strechcordz Swim Training Products. In our last poll, we wanted to know: Should athletes be allowed by the IOC to stage peaceful protest on issues such as doping, discrimination, equality and other ethical questions?

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) is sticking to its threat to ban athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021 for taking a knee in peaceful solidarity with anti-racism movements.

IOC bosses confirmed that their guidelines haven’t changed despite international law that defends the right of peaceful protest, despite such protests unfolding world wide and despite significant shifts in thinking at sports organizations such the NFL, FIFA and England’s FA in the wake of the brutal death of George Floyd under the knee of a white police officer now charged with murder.

The crisis in the United States has led to protests across the world on an issue that played out in Olympic history back in 1936, when Jesse Owens claimed four gold medals in the face of discrimination about to spill to World War and the Holocaust.

The IOC’s confirmation followed an Open Letter addressed to it by Gwen Berry, the American hammer thrower, under the heading: “Sport, Politics, protest … and The Olympics”

The Olympic Movement and member federations have long been criticized for being behind the times on many issues, including rights of athletes, the models through which vast revenues flowing from the business of the Games and related Olympic sports events are shared and structures of governance backed by constitutions that keep independent oversight at bay or cut it out altogether.

Olympic officials published guidelines in January banning any protest at the Tokyo Games. Athletes face sanctions, including removal of medals and suspension from the Games, for “taking a knee, raising a fist or refusing to follow protocol at medal ceremonies”.

So for the swim poll, the question remains: Should athletes be allowed by the IOC to stage peaceful protest on issues such as doping, discrimination, equality and other ethical questions?

We asked for the swim poll and you answered with…

Here are the swim poll answers:

Yes, give them a voice – 63%

No, keep that off the podium – 37%




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  1. Betsy Perkins

    Don’t ruin the winner’s time to enjoy his/her moment. Victory is an achievement to be celebrated & should be the only thing people have their minds on at that one wonderful moment for the winner.

    • Craig Lord

      Betsy Perkins victory is not always deserved nor should every victory be celebrated … the history of swimming screams that truth … I assume you are not suggesting Shirley Babashoff and Co should have shut their mouths as they were told to … which hints at why your thought is Surface and wide of the mark … this requires deeper understanding and empathy with clean athletes robbed of just rewards.