Adam Gemili has criticised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over its Rule 50 ban on political protests at the Olympic Games.
The rule forbids any kind of ‘demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda’ in venues and any other Olympic area, including on the medal podium.
Despite the IOC relaxing their interpretation of the rule to now permit peaceful protest prior to competition, Team GB sprinter Gemili believes they should go further.
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“I think it has never been more important to actually stand up for these rights – especially if you look at what happened at the Euros and the way England and the players were treated,” Gemili told Sky Sports News.
“It is each to their own, as long as it is respectful that is the most important thing. That is all you can really ask for of any GB athlete.
“If they are going to do something, as long as they make sure they are respectful and not offending others – the people they are around on the field of play – then go for it.”
Under current rules, gestures – like the famous Black Power salutes at the Mexico Olympics in 1968 – are not allowed.
However, Gemili is pleased the Team GB women’s football team have opted to take a knee before their matches in Tokyo, mirroring the actions of teams in domestic leagues back home.
“I think we have seen the women’s football team out here who are taking a knee, which was great to see,” the 27-year-old added. “They were all standing together and none of them have got in trouble.”
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