An insider said the message was delivered from on high on Tuesday evening Tokyo time, with a specific reference to Team GB’s women’s first football match against Chile, just hours before it kicked off in Sapporo on Wednesday.
The image of both teams taking the knee beforehand, in a protest against racism and online hate, was seen on live TV and the gesture was then followed by United States and Sweden players as well as those from New Zealand.
Less than 36 hours before the official opening, the IOC takes a step back in its protest policy and includes the slogan ‘faster, higher, stronger’ during its 138th plenary session.
The decision also comes despite the IOC recently relaxing Rule 50, which had previously forbidden athletes to make any kind of ‘demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas’.
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