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Walker Shumock-Bailey

Abstract

This issue brief discusses the debate surrounding Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter and athletes’ right to protest emphasizing the current importance of the matter in relation to the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Games. First, it discusses those who argue for the rule such as the president of the International Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) itself, and some athletes. Next, the brief turns to the cases against Rule 50 with an examination of scholarship on the matter as well as two case studies of athlete’s protesting. These case studies examine three instances of protest over two different IOC sanctioned events. The issue brief then pivots to an examination of the idea of athletes’ protest from a communications perspective with a look into nonverbal demonstration. Finally, the paper provides a possible explanation for the Olympic’s long-standing commitment to Rule 50 through the intersection of Coakley’s Great Sport Myth and the Myth of Sport’s Autonomy.

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Section
Articles