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(Ottawa, ON – June 23, 2020) – The CCES steadfastly supports freedom of expression for every participant in the Olympic and Paralympic Games and calls upon the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to amend Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter.

Rule 50 states that, “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.” In their Rule 50 Guidelines, the IOC Athletes’ Commission extends the prohibition from “propaganda” to “protests and demonstrations.” It gives examples of what would constitute “protests”: displaying any political messaging, including signs or armbands; gestures of a political nature, like a hand gesture or kneeling; refusal to follow the Ceremonies protocol; and any form of political, religious or ethnic demonstrations. Thus, kneeling to signify Black Lives Matter, wearing a red scarf or shawl to bring attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, or carrying a rainbow flag to indicate opposition to homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia would contravene the rule.