John Carlos, U.S. athletes urge IOC to abolish rule that bans protests at Olympics

John Carlos and a group of American athletes have written a letter calling on the IOC to abolish the rule banning protests at the Olympics.

Letter says that it's time for Olympic, Paralympic movement to honour their bravery

Olympian John Carlos, who raised his fist with Tommie Smith on the podium at the 1968 Olympics to protest racial inequality in the United States, has written a letter with other American athletes urging the IOC to drop the ban against protests. (The Associated Press)

John Carlos wants to abolish the rule that bans protests at the Olympics. The renowned Olympic protester has written a letter with an influential group of American athletes, calling on the IOC to put in place a new policy done in collaboration with athletes from across the globe.

Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists on the medals stand at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics to protest racial inequality in the United States. They were sent home for violating rules that ban such protests. Those rules remain in place today, though in the wake of global demonstrations against racial injustice, the IOC has recently expressed willingness to rethink them.

Referring to the actions of Carlos and Smith, the letter says "It is time for the Olympic and Paralympic movement to honour their bravery rather than denounce their actions."

Carlos joined the leadership of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee's athlete advisory council in sending the open letter to the International Olympic and Paralympic committees on Saturday. The letter said the AAC had discussed the issue with the IOC's athlete commission.


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