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As sports embraces activism, what should Tokyo Olympics permit?

130 Comments
By Takaki Tominaga

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130 Comments

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She gave a tiny slap on the wrist to Nissin noodles for portraying her as fair-skinned and white-ish. No condemnation for Japan the country.

There is an unspoken rule in Japan China etc that you dont speak out directly on societal issues, instead you talk around them, or project them on to another country, and you praise Japan every chance you get; its a kind of maintenance, an alleigance to the group or collective. I was once watching this movie review show, this guy was ranting about a US movie and how terrible the US was, come to find out, he wasnt even Japanese but instead Korean. The elephant in the room, we all know it, but it must not be talked about. Easier to deflect and blame others, even though your not accepted by those who you want it from.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now even if she did go through all the steps the USA has a one time chance to request reinstatement of citizenship, as far as I understand it was once in a life time and only to those born citizens.

So basically as long as her father remains a USA citizen, she can reclaim her citizenship st any time.

Huh?

Does making it up as you go along make you feel good? The last time I checked, once you relinquish, you got a 1 year window to reconsider...then its strike 3..your out. Otherwise people would just relinquish as they feel for whatever reason, then reconsider. for whatever reason. The only way back in is to marry a citizen, become a spouse get PR then go through the whole process, and they dont have to give you anything. Also, if she didnt relinquish, wouldnt the J media be all over that, since its in violation of japanese immigration law?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As for Osaka herself, since the photos and much of the story and comments focus on her, she is whatever nationality she chooses to be between American and Japanese (and Haitian for that matter), and even with only one passport she'll still be, again, as much as she chooses to be. The problem is how much Japan will accept her.

Most of us dont have that luxury.

I dont understand who/what this lady is representing, most Japanese dont know or even care about BLM or anything else for that matter, that goes on in the US. They tend to live in a media bubble and focus entirely on domestic issues. I see little if any coverage from the J media, even though Osaka is Japanese. So is she representing Japan, when she is protesting? Thats strange because most Japanese could care less.

From an inside Japan perspective, projecting outwards, its a bit awkward to watch. There are no Japanese issues worth protesting? I can think of quite a few, especially in the gaijin and mixed race communities.

Why arent any other Japanese sports people, celebrities etc protesting about what is going on in the US?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ainu. Bring attention to the original inhabitants of japan.

The Native Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Depends if Trump wins again.

If he does, it will be the Victim Olympics.

And wait until some Western SJW's get wind of the plight of the Ainu. You can expect to see some kind of 'performance' surrounding that. ...Not from any actual Ainu, mind you, but from someone from a Commonwealth country who looks like they wouldn't get followed around in a Williams & Sonoma.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"One player, no matter who and no matter the reason, should be allowed to disrupt a tournament for unrelated political reasons as much as Osaka just did."

Should be allowed?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What athletes say outside sports events is their business. But sloganeering during the events should not be allowed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I prefer to just watch great athletes perform.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

She should've been disqualified for refusing to play in that match. It's set a precedent that the WTA is obviously not going to follow in future and opens them up to all kinds of accusations of favouritism and not giving a crap about the integrity of the game. One player, no matter who and no matter the reason, should be allowed to disrupt a tournament for unrelated political reasons as much as Osaka just did. It's crazy how much they pandered to her (and her deep-pocketed sponsors).

I think wearing masks, wearing t-shirts, displaying banners, etc. should be permissable in most cases, but intentional disruption of the whole event should be met with disqualification.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well done, Naomi you've got people talking, not only abouts BLM, but all kinds of social injustice. Well done, continue to win

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Yes but why be a segregationist only interested in a favored racial group?

ALL LIVES MATTER!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As sports embraces activism, what should Tokyo Olympics permit

The title should be: As USA sports embraces activism, what should Tokyo Olympics permit.

The article goes on and on quoting mostly Americans.

The USA is not the world but thinks it is.

Sorry to break the news to Americans most of the world doesn't care about your Petty problems.

BLM has no idea about the rest of the world and thinks things are so bad in the use.

Seriously have any of them ever read international news.

Full on ethnic wars, ethic cleansing, religious wars, territorial conflicts,

Can people even start to imagine what the Olympics would be like.

Do people think it will just be BLM?

Seriously, Ukraine protesting Russia, North and South Korea protesting Japan, Sunni and Shia protesting eachother, India protesting China, other protesting China over Hong Kong the uighur people, etc... China protesting all it's neighbours due to territorial disputes, and I could go on for several days listing all the groups, countries, regions that would all use the Olympics as a platform for their own causes.

Wake up to reality and stop staring at your own navels.

Every region of the world has some major conflict, historical injustice, ethnic, religious, etc... problems.

This wouldn't be opening a can of worms it would be opening a barrel of radioactive waste.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are only so many signs one can wear and still do sports. If someone can win while carrying a billboard, people will still applaud a fine athletic performance.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have no problem with activism on your own time. If the Olympics bans political activism just make it clear in advance that should you win a medal and make some political activism display on the podium that you will be stripped of your medal and the runner up will get it.

Also, this article suggests that political activism only targets the US. How about what China is doing to their own people?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Olympic Games stakeholders" about sums up the 5-ringed circus....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

She was required to either announce her intention of keeping Japanese citizenship or forfeiting it upon her 22nd birthday last year.

It's not that hard. Fill out the form and submit it. It can be completed in weeks.

She did not do it and that is a fact.

Umm, yes she edid. She made her declaration last October:

Naomi Osaka, the 2018 U.S. Open champion and the world’s third-ranked tennis player, will give up her U.S. citizenship to represent Japan in the Summer Olympics next year in Tokyo.

Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father is Haitian, was born in Japan but moved with her family to New York when she was 3. Under Japan’s Nationality Act, those who hold dual citizenship must choose one before their 22nd birthday. Osaka turns 22 on Wednesday.

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/10/10/tennis-star-naomi-osaka-gives-up-her-us-citizenship-play-japan-tokyo-olympics/

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

No, I have never read in the media anywhere that she did not do as she said and did not renounce US citizenship.

And neither did I claim that the media had put out such articles. You said that perhaps 'it' was explained to her in the past, and stated that there had been articles in the media in said 'it'. The 'it' being that there is no legal requirement to follow through with the relinquishment of her citizenship.

She did not give up US citizenship as she said she would.

She hasn't given it up yet. There is nothing to indicate that she won't. Nor is there any legal requirement that she does.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

You don't know what you're talking about.

No, she cannot "re-claim" US citizenship. And there is no evidence that she went through any steps to renounce US citizenship.

She was required to either announce her intention of keeping Japanese citizenship or forfeiting it upon her 22nd birthday last year.

It's not that hard. Fill out the form and submit it. It can be completed in weeks.

She did not do it and that is a fact.

Probably not. I don't know why she would.

Because she said that she was giving up US citizenship.

There have been articles in the media on it in the past. You're coming new to this information and all surprised, when it's an old story.

No, I have never read in the media anywhere that she did not do as she said and did not renounce US citizenship. I'm the only person I know who has brought this up.

Words and actions matter. I believe in holding supposed role models to the truth.

She did not give up US citizenship as she said she would.

I doubt this is as you've relayed it. I'd be extremely surprised.

A person of character would say that they learned something, or they were wrong, or thanks for the information.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

OK lets end this.

Naomi stated to Japan she intended to keep her Japanese citizenship and relinquish her USA one.

Now I cannot find any information as to whether she actually went through all the steps and did it.

Regardless even if she did (and I doubt it) as an athlete and having a father that is a USA citizen she can easily get a visa to train in the USA.

Now even if she did go through all the steps the USA has a one time chance to request reinstatement of citizenship, as far as I understand it was once in a life time and only to those born citizens.

So basically as long as her father remains a USA citizen, she can reclaim her citizenship st any time.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

peter neil:

She has not given up US citizenship.

You mean she wants to have her cake AND eat it? Imagine, if I could get Japanese citizenship and be able to keep my other citizenship. No, I can't imagine.

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I'm going to contact some press people about this. They're always looking for a good story and let's see if "awareness" works both ways? I'm sure some would like to ask her a question about it at a press conference and hear her answer. I'd like to hear the truth and perhaps others would too.

I suspect the answer would be something along the lines of "yes, as I declared to the Japanese government, I intend to do so. I just haven't dealt with it yet as I'm busy with other commitments."

There is no timeline in which she is required to do it. When she's done with her sports career I imagine she'll have more time to get around to it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

She has not given up US citizenship.

Probably not. I don't know why she would.

Where is she going to live, Japan? She would not get a visa to live or work in the US if she relinquishes citizenship. (relinquish and renounce are the same meaning to the US government regarding citizenship)

Exactly. Which would be a good reason to keep it.

Perhaps this was explained to her.

There have been articles in the media on it in the past. You're coming new to this information and all surprised, when it's an old story.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

She made the declaration of intent to give up the foreign citizenship.

It's a loophole.

-- Stangerland

She has not given up US citizenship.

Where is she going to live, Japan? She would not get a visa to live or work in the US if she relinquishes citizenship. (relinquish and renounce are the same meaning to the US government regarding citizenship)

Perhaps this was explained to her. or perhaps it was just a blatant lie as a publicity stunt. We don't know.

I'm going to contact some press people about this. They're always looking for a good story and let's see if "awareness" works both ways? I'm sure some would like to ask her a question about it at a press conference and hear her answer. I'd like to hear the truth and perhaps others would too.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Strangerland "A new Hill-HarrisX poll showed 24% of Black voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, up from the 15% approval rating he received in a survey conducted Aug. 8–11."

numbers are hard, I get it...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Osaka was required by Japanese law to make a declaration of intent to either give up her foreign (American) citizenship, or to not. She made the declaration of intent to give up the foreign citizenship.

The Japanese government has no ability to remove or force the removal of the foreign citizenship. And there are no records of have ever having revoked the citizenship of a Japanese-born citizen.

It's a loophole. That's how Asia works folks.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

trumps-approval-rating-with-black-americans-grows-after-rnc

Money talks, BS walks.

I deserve a "thank you" for giving you an early 3 months heads up, but don't get your hopes up, I won't hold my breath.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting choice of words here, "relinquish" vs renounce, I would bet any money she still has her US passport!

She is not listed in the Federal Register (as required by law) as having renounced or relinquished her US citizenship. She could not be in the US if she did, since she would not have a visa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nice. Good on those women sticking it to the fascist right-wingers of America!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

She HAS spoken out on racism in Japan.

She gave a tiny slap on the wrist to Nissin noodles for portraying her as fair-skinned and white-ish. No condemnation for Japan the country.

Don't you get just crazy upset when your false narrative gets, as the kids say; "Wrecked"?

I doubt this is as you've relayed it. I'd be extremely surprised.

https://nypost.com/2020/06/25/blm-co-founder-describes-herself-as-trained-marxist/

Good lord. These quotes have been on record since JUNE, for gods sake. I guess you're also going to tell me you have no idea that BLM organizers have called for the destruction of the 2 parent family? ( since a 70% fatherless rate is already working so well for young black Americans)

you're not seriously going to tell me that, are you?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Speaking of darn, nasty truth...

Black Lives Matter founders readily admit to being "trained Marxists." (their words).

BLM funding is funneled through a group called Thousand Currents, which includes a convicted terrorist named Susan Rosenberg on its board of directors.

One of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza, set up Black Futures Lab that is being financed by the Chinese Progressive Association, which is tied directly to the Chinese Communist Party.

Their professed goal is simple, they are proponents of world communism. Communism has always been totalitarianism under dictators and the Chinese are now pulling the strings of Black Lives Matter.

This info is readily found now with any search.

I was disappointed to read this. It turns out that BLM is not about saving lies, it's a wrapper for something sinister and people are being duped by the BLM leaders.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Here is how international politics infects.

In Canada blacks are less than 3% of the population, Asian 15%, Native American 5%.

But because blacks in Canada have the backing and financial clout provided by the USA BLM, they demand far more than their number.

Any attempt by any other group like the Native population to have a voice and to get even a fraction of what BLM has been able to get from the government, schools, etc.. is drowned out by the far louder BLM and their backers.

Native American in both countries are far more in need far worse treated but because the USA has far more blacks the Canadian BLM uses that to get all the attention.

As my great grandfather (Innu) said: Black people in North America had it far better than his people (Innu), sure they were slaves but they also were emancipated. Unlike his people who were hunted to near extinction, placed in reservations, children forcibly removed from their parents and placed in "Indian Residential Schools" where many were beaten, starved and died in anonymity.

To this day native Americans live in far worse conditions than any Black person, are far more likely to be incarcerated, far more likely to not finish high school, far less likely to hot to university,etc...than Blacks but lets not go there it counters everything BLM is pushing and that is not acceptable.

If Naomi is really all about Justice and equality, then she should move to Japan and actually live here, then she should take up the cause of discrimination here but that could mean actually being Japanese and possibly losing her lucrative sponsorships.

But then her father came from Haiti and made a good living in the USA despite all the complaints but wait Haiti is a black country that was independent from colonial rule long before, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Indonesian, Malaysia, etc... So why couldn't he just live there and succeed? Oh right they just cannot get anything done, I guess that must be the fault of someone else the is not black.

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Osaka knows when to shut up. She won't say a word about actual racism in Japan because she knows where that sweet sponsorship money comes from.

Umm don't you get embarrassed when it's pointed out you haven't bothered to fact check yourself and that you're entirely wrong?

She HAS spoken out on racism in Japan.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It's nice to see that she has been successful - she wanted us talking about BLM, and we are. Good job Naomi!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Osaka knows when to shut up. She won't say a word about actual racism in Japan because she knows where that sweet sponsorship money comes from.

As for the Olympics. The usual virtue signalers will spout their attention-seeking BS, but the Japanese crowds will only look on bemused at the silly, privileged westerners that they are.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@oldman_13

She has every right to highlight issues of systemic racism and police brutality in a country where she spent most of her life as a citizen of and still clearly identies more with.

She and BLM are not highlighting issues of systemic racism or police brutality!

They are ONLY doing it for Blacks and any attempt to point out other minorities also have problems and some far far far worse than any Black person in North America (and if you don't know what I mean look up Native American.) BLM will attack those trying, they will dismiss all talk of any others having it as bad and in no way will they let anyone point out things are worse for another group.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Then why is she representing Japan 

Because at the time, it was the easiest path to making an Olympic team.

 Naomi only relinquished her U.S. citizenship last year in order to represent Japan at the Olympics (that was supposed to be this year)

Interesting choice of words here, "relinquish" vs renounce, I would bet any money she still has her US passport!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Re Oldman_13:- While Naomi was born in Japan, her family moved to the United States when she was only three years old. In fact, Naomi only relinquished her U.S. citizenship last year in order to represent Japan at the Olympics (that was supposed to be this year). She was a United States citizen for most of her life (and currently lives in Beverly Hills, California), is culturally American, speaks English fluently but doesn't speak Japanese as fluently, etc. She has every right to highlight issues of systemic racism and police brutality in a country where she spent most of her life as a citizen of and still clearly identies more with.

Then why is she representing Japan if she has no interest in hi-lighting human rights issues there? Last I knew she is even represented by IMG Japan. No doubt she is possibly a confused young lady. Representing the USA might de-confuse her and everyone else. As for the Olympics...its original purpose was to stop warring factions for its duration and come together for sporting events. Introducing and accepting political protests are the opposite of it. Personally, with so many annual or bi-annual 'world Championships' in various sports, I think it outmoded and would be best discontinued. I certainly didn't miss it this year.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sports and games are a form of activism. Minnows toppling giants are common instances of activism in the sporting arena. But too often sportspersons prefer to keep quiet, win their matches, collect their paychecks, sign autographs, go to tax-free havens, reinvest their wealth, do some charitable acts, and then humbly disappear. Naomi Osaka is giving a new lease of life to sports. The Japanese Grand Slam winner is becoming a coaching icon for fellow players and coaches to do justice to their enormous all-round potential.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I'm sure you would have adored the '36 Games! Plenty of wonderful politics in there, the more the merrier eh?!

What do you mean? That they shouldn't have taken place? That other countries shouldn't have attended? I don't see your point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Twice as many members down voting the statement Black Lives Matter is all I need to know about the sad state of some people’s souls.

100 percent. They like to follow up with "all lives matter" but to give "Black Lives Matter" a down vote shows they don't really think "all lives matter" at all.

But the Olympics is not the place for any of this. The Olympics were specifically set up even in ancient times to compete in sports and put the political stuff aside for a time.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I'm not saying athletes shouldn't be involved in activism but please keep it off the court.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nothing should be allowed, stick to the friggin games or go home.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

oldman_13: "some of the same people here complaining about Naomi saying she needs to focus on Japan's issues, are the very same people who see fit to constantly judge Japan as being the most xenophobic country in the world with corrupt and brutal police that supposedly victimize foreigners (while denying that systemic racism and police brutality exist in America)."

Why can't people who point out some of the xenophobic tendencies in this nation (and you're a fool if you believe they don't exist) say she should focus on Japan? Who says it is mutually exclusive -- that she cannot focus on racism in general? And whom among those people deny any systematic racism exists in the US or elsewhere? Sounds like you started a point and then got lost in your bias along the way.

For my part I truly hope that Osaka and others like her (people willing to take a stand) bring it to Japan fully, and that Japan allows it. We know that if the Olympics occur they will allow Osaka to wear masks like she is now, but will not allow any comments that are critical of Japan, nor any that might upset China (like "free Tibet" or "Taiwan is independent!") or others, so I do indeed wonder what the limit will be.

As for Osaka herself, since the photos and much of the story and comments focus on her, she is whatever nationality she chooses to be between American and Japanese (and Haitian for that matter), and even with only one passport she'll still be, again, as much as she chooses to be. The problem is how much Japan will accept her. Right now she is doing very well again, and would be welcomed with open arms, and with that she brings talk about change and the issue of people with mixed backgrounds, but my concern is when she stops being popular. I know people who five years ago stated flat out she was not Japanese, but, as with Kazuo Ishiguro who was suddenly Japanese when he won the Nobel, then was called Japanese after her first US Open, who didn't speak of her at all last year, but are now again. How about in another 10 years?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Politics has as much place in sports as it does in music, which is to say, lots. The more the merrier.

I'm sure you would have adored the '36 Games! Plenty of wonderful politics in there, the more the merrier eh?!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not political for me, but refusal might be

Why?

Natural things to do or things we do without thinking of/about politics.

Refusing to sing is clearly a political stand if no other reason is apparent/provided

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do you people who think politics has no place in sports disagree with boycotts of the Olympics in the recent past and further back? Of countries not being invited to attend because of their domestic situation and politics?

Gee, I do wish you'd spoken up back then, so that apartheid S.Africa could have joined in.

Politics has as much place in sports as it does in music, which is to say, lots. The more the merrier. If people in the public eye wish to use their voice, you can choose to close your eyes and ears, scroll down, turn off, and turn away. The audience have no right to expect a player to compromise what they believe in.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

No what we see is the irony of a black Japanese protesting problems in another country not her own and clearly avoiding doing so.

You are right there are clearly far more problems here but somehow she as a Japanese has chosen to ignore them and focus on another country's problems.

How is that for hypocrisy

While Naomi was born in Japan, her family moved to the United States when she was only three years old. In fact, Naomi only relinquished her U.S. citizenship last year in order to represent Japan at the Olympics (that was supposed to be this year). She was a United States citizen for most of her life (and currently lives in Beverly Hills, California), is culturally American, speaks English fluently but doesn't speak Japanese as fluently, etc. She has every right to highlight issues of systemic racism and police brutality in a country where she spent most of her life as a citizen of and still clearly identies more with.

And she HAS spoken about the racism she has experienced in Japan, but since she spent most of her young and formative years (and most of her life as well for that matter) in the United States, her experiences are clearly going to be much different than someone like Rui Hachimura who spent ALL of his young and formative years in Japan.

There's absolutely no hypocrisy on her part. And my point still stands, some of the same people here complaining about Naomi saying she needs to focus on Japan's issues, are the very same people who see fit to constantly judge Japan as being the most xenophobic country in the world with corrupt and brutal police that supposedly victimize foreigners (while denying that systemic racism and police brutality exist in America).

And downvoting is not a proper response.

https://www.essentiallysports.com/tennis-news-wta-naomi-osaka-tears-into-existence-of-racism-in-japan/

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Quite disigenuousfor you to say that. The lack of respect for freedom of speech is overwhelmingly predominant on the left.

Didn’t say it wasn’t.

What do you think of those on the right who want to imprison people for disrespecting a flag? Trump has talked about this.

I find that a disgrace to the idea of freedom of conscience.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Olympics are a time for the world to unite in sport and not political activism. The politics just create division among athletes and viewers. Athletes should just enjoy the Olympics and be honored and grateful to be able to represent their countries, not to voice their personal political opinions. Their personal political opinions should be voiced on other platforms.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

One great part of the Olympics is the bringing together and unifying of the global community regardless of political affilliation, race, religion, etc

Well, that bit of sanity has been in the modern olympics charter since the beginning. Now however our “highly educated” woke friends know better. But I say let them do it. The IOC deserves the collapse that will follow.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As sports embraces activism, what should Tokyo Olympics permit?

None!

One great part of the Olympics is the bringing together and unifying of the global community regardless of political affilliation, race, religion, etc. Political activism will just foster division.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A young English footballer, Marcus Rashford, a kid from a deprived background, campaigned to extend free school meals in the summer for deprived children. 

Was he campaigning on the field? That's the difference.

Furthermore, he actually was dealing with a serious social problem that was backed not only be anecdotal evidence but my statistics. BLM is based on a flat out lie. The data proves it. Also, the athletes supporting BLM are doing absolutely nothing to improve the lives of black Americans... much like the movement BLM actually. Kaepernick, for example, had never spent any of his own time or money campaigning social issues. In fact, all he does now is go around speaking at different events and getting paid loads of money for his appearances.

Lastly, I would argue that feeding poor children is not really a political issue. It is something EVERYONE can get behind and support... kind of the point behind sports in general.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

You can just see some poor athlete struggling for a lifetime to get a Gold, only to have the podium ceremony disrupted and all the attention taken by the athlete in 2nd place unfurling a flag demanding 

The athlete doesnt matter. What counts is “its a great wind-up to the right wing!”

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ugh.. can we keep sports and politics separate please.. If I watch sports, it’s to relax and get my mind off of crisises and negativity. Besides, many athletes (not all) have no clue what they’re talking about, which is understandable, they are not politicians, but often they are role-models and spread biased uninformed crap that does more damage than it actually helps.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter states, "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas," although it allows athletes to express opinions in interviews and on social media.

I'm all for people having the right to express themselves on whatever topic they desire, but they need to remember that the Olympics is first and foremost a sporting event. When on the field of play, the spectacle needs to be the sport and the achievement of the athletes.

You can just see some poor athlete struggling for a lifetime to get a Gold, only to have the podium ceremony disrupted and all the attention taken by the athlete in 2nd place unfurling a flag demanding better treatment for pet store kittens.

They can do what they like at their own media briefings etc within the rules that the individual countries permit, but not on the field.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The lack of respect for freedom of speech and conscience is very disturbing from both sides. I hope your obvious dislike of suppression of expression extends to both sides and doesn’t stay within a partisan bubble.

I would disagree. A lot of of this is coming from left wing politics. People aren't allowed to stay out of divisive issues these days because they will be accussed as being complicit with the "silence is violence" mantra.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The lack of respect for freedom of speech and conscience is very disturbing from both sides. I hope your obvious dislike of suppression of expression extends to both sides and doesn’t stay within a partisan bubble.

Quite disigenuousfor you to say that. The lack of respect for freedom of speech is overwhelmingly predominant on the left.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Isn’t singing an anthem with hand on heart a political gesture, and in some cases, virtue-signaling as much as a refusal to do it? How about running around the stadium draped in a flag after winning?

I’ve always thought so.

Not political for me, but refusal might be

Why?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Isn’t singing an anthem with hand on heart a political gesture, and in some cases, virtue-signaling as much as a refusal to do it? How about running around the stadium draped in a flag after winning?

I’ve always thought so.

Not political for me, but refusal might be

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Thats exactly what they do. Look at all the cancelled speakers at , eg, colleges/universities who the poor dears just cant bear to allow because it might traumatize their precious woke fantasies.

They are awful in many cases. Disturbing crap.

On the same level as easily triggered patriotic idiots who want to throw people in jail for disrespecting a flag.

The lack of respect for freedom of speech and conscience is very disturbing from both sides. I hope your obvious dislike of suppression of expression extends to both sides and doesn’t stay within a partisan bubble.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Antiquesaving

@i@n

The answer is already been made.

It is yes, but not much success

For the transgender issue?

Thanks, I'll look it up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Twice as many members down voting the statement Black Lives Matter is all I need to know about the sad state of some people’s souls.

anyway I think it’s important to allow protest and even counter protest statements by athletes just so long as they are peaceful.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Isn’t singing an anthem with hand on heart a political gesture, and in some cases, virtue-signaling as much as a refusal to do it? How about running around the stadium draped in a flag after winning?

I’ve always thought so.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Yet these same people see fit to criticize all aspects of Japanese society as being the most xenophobic and ignorant, and Japanese law enforcement as being inept, corrupt, and discriminatory against non-Japanese people.

Does anyone else not see the irony and hypocrisy in this?

Its all too clear, some seem to be even proud of it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@i@n

The answer is already been made.

It is yes, but not much success.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who ever said actors, musicians, and athletes have ANY political clout? They only THINK they do! That is the whole problem with this. 

A young English footballer, Marcus Rashford, a kid from a deprived background, campaigned to extend free school meals in the summer for deprived children. He talked about his own life and how these meals were a lifeline to poor kids like him.

Eventually this campaign gained so much momentum, the government changed track. The PM, who changed policy, and the leader of the opposition paid tribute to his campaign.

Great lad.

I know there is a lot of bandwagon jumping and virtue signaling going on, but we shouldn’t just dismiss all athletes as having no political clout or not being genuine

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Im all for trans athletes that are biological males competing as women too, and the sooner the better. If we’re gonna be pc/woke we might as well do it to the full extent of its absurdity.

If they allow that then females who identify as men should compete in the men's divisions also

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@oldman_13

No what we see is the irony of a black Japanese protesting problems in another country not her own and clearly avoiding doing so.

You are right there are clearly far more problems here but somehow she as a Japanese has chosen to ignore them and focus on another country's problems.

How is that for hypocrisy

0 ( +4 / -4 )

People shouldn't be doing politics while working unless their work is politics.

And definitely not stop working to push their politics unless maybe it's politics that is directly related to work

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What about Bernell Trammell, a Trump supporter who was murdered?

Oh, he doesnt count.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Fix your problems internally, leave the rest of us out of it" seems to be the excuse some have when athletes like Naomi Osaka highlight systemic racism and police brutality, which in fact are universal problems that exist in practically every country in the world.

Yet these same people see fit to criticize all aspects of Japanese society as being the most xenophobic and ignorant, and Japanese law enforcement as being inept, corrupt, and discriminatory against non-Japanese people.

Does anyone else not see the irony and hypocrisy in this?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

But still cannot get its act together blaming everyone else but themselves.

You hush now!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

hope Osaka takes a knee during the Kimigayo at the Olympics to protest at racism in Japan.

She will NEVER do that.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I understand your thinking, antiquesaving. I always found it interesting that I and my associates and friends in Japan found the most insular group in Japan were American Blacks. Even the African Blacks had no respect for their continuous victim narrative. The African Blacks were too busy building relationships, developing imports and exports and contacts.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The Olympic rules prevent any kind of activism during the Games. Advertising inside venues is also banned.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Strangerland

I know Haiti!

It is a Caribbean country that has been independent from colonial rule longer than Canada, Australia,New Zealand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, etc...

But still cannot get its act together blaming everyone else but themselves.

Sounds quite familiar, seems very much like BLM it is all everyone else's fault not their own communities.

Do I think the USA, Canada has discrimination? Yes no doubt about it.

Do I think all the problems blacks in North America face are because of it? No much is of their own making.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Remember folks, you are not allowed to have any fun or respite from political activism. It will be forced in your face whether you like it or not.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I am tired of politics. This is a world Olympic. You cannot choose only 1 or 2 - there are numerous problems in the world. This is a physical endurance. This is where nations get united through Olympics - and hopefully please keep it that way. And besides half of the people do not believe whatever causes there are. We do not want I’ll feelings because many people have many views.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Olympics will be one protest followed by a counter protest followed by a counter counter protest..

Yep. And with that pandoras box opened you can imagine the official “causes” athletes from the likes of China, Iran, N Korea, etc etc will be forced to take on. Then there are the trend riders/ career opportunists etc that we are already seeing now.

Actually, the Olympics is already a corrupt farce, I actually wouldnt mind the farce deepening. Bring it on!

It’ll be entertaining, while it lasts.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I dont really want to see athletes spouting off about THEIR causes while receiving medals or similar.

How about they set up something like speakers corner booths in the village & venues etc for athletes only to have their say about whatever they want then ALL these are uploaded unedited to the Olympic homepage for the world to see if they choose to.....

You can bet some you know what will be hitting a LOT of fans(of the spinning variety!!)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If you believe BLM, blacks in North America have it worse than everyone else.

Now for the facts.

Native Americans in both the USA and Canada have a higher rate of poverty, higher unemployment, higher percentage of incarceration, the highest high school dropout rate, lowest post secondary education, etc...

But we don't hear about it because any attempt at doing so will be met with BLM accusations and their larger numbers and deeper pockets will shut down any talk that may focus on some other group more in need.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Who ever said actors, musicians, and athletes have ANY political clout?

I'm Ok with that. As they say:

I will defend your right to free speech to the death! …

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm confident that my views are not influenced or compromised easily and solely by certain top athletes over certain social political issues. I don't feel uncomfortable when encountering their activism amid sporting events. They have rights for free speech; but I have my own, too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe the question should be why are Japanese so apolitical and averse to any sort of protests that challenge the status quo they never seem to question?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Professional athletes have worked long and hard to get where they are. Like actors and musicians their popularity gives them a certain amount of political clout. 

Who ever said actors, musicians, and athletes have ANY political clout? They only THINK they do! That is the whole problem with this. They are entertainers. That is it. Nothing more.

If they want to be "activists" they can use their own time and their own money. When they are working for US (that's right, as entertainers they are working for us), they should keep their own political beliefs to themselves... I don't care if I agree or disagree with them.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Naomi chan is the role model Japan needs now.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@Antiquesaving Well said. Outstanding comment and full of truth.

That of course means it will soon be deleted because JT don't approve of any truths that don't adhere to their left-wing narratives, but thank you anyway. ;)

1 ( +7 / -6 )

@Vanessa Carlisle

Nice American propaganda and fantasy.

Vietnam: most were drafted, the average age was 19 from poor and many minorities too young to Vote or Drink. Few cared about anything other than getting out alive.

Afghanistan: Taliban was doing its thing for years no American cared until 9-11 and then it was about revenge pure and simple nothing to do with freeing the Afghan people.

Iraq the same as Afghanistan.

American politics infect the world.

BLM has infected Canada with less than 3% Black but far more representation that that and the perception because USA BLM support.

Native American In Canada make up 5% but are far worse off because BLM yells louder and USA BLM backing them drowning out all others, Asians are 15% but again BLM makes sure no one hears anything but them.

We would love to stay out of USA politics and not comment but unfortunately the USA and its groups cannot seem to leave us alone.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The Olympics will be one protest followed by a counter protest followed by a counter counter protest..

That is exactly what will happen, bringing all of this together on a world stage would be a disaster. While I do support the protests happening in America, it's IN America.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Watching sport is escapism for people. Escapism from the drudgery of their jobs. Escapism from financial woes. Escapism from the daily fear, fear, fear-based news mantras. Escapism from politics. 

People don't watch sport for political or moral advice. Least of all from BLM, who are mentioned in this article (Note for my friends at Japan Today, that means this is 'on-topic'), which is little more than a shell company for funding the Democrats via ActBlue Charities. Do you start to see what's going on now?

ActBlue Expenditures for 2020

1 Biden for President $194,848,705

2 Bernie 2020 $186,780,034

3 Warren for President $93,484,426 

4 Pete for America $78,469,082 

5 Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte $64,786,693 

6 Amy for America $43,167,720 

7 Democratic National Cmte $42,499,784 

8 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte $40,153,894 

9 Amy McGrath for Senate $39,673,737 

10 Friends of Andrew Yang $31,705,801

(Source: https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/expenditures.php?cmte=C00401224&cycle=2020). 

The irony of BLM is that they have absolutely no interest in the liberation of black people.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

According to national news in the US = Louisville agrees to $12M settlement with Breonna Taylor's family, pledges police reform... You can find it with a simple search

It's terrible to lose a loved one like that but... DAMN - that's a lot of cash considering the boyfriend fired the first shot before the police even entered the building...

Ugly mess all around...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The IOC Athletes' Commission has indicated it will formulate a final proposal by next March after discussing the matter with athletes around the world and submit it to the executive board.

Should that include world health experts as well?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Of course not. We don't want athletes shoving their personal politics down our throats. It would distract from the true meaning of the Olympics, which is to shove the brand messages of the "official sponsors" down our throats.

I suppose we are lucky its just sportswear made by child labour and drinks with industrial sugars linked to obesity. Oh and that American crime against beer. Pretty much every football match in the UK now is aimed at brainwashing the viewer into gambling. Its on almost all the shirts and is during every commercial break.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

For those that see no problem with this idea. Here is a short (very short) list of groups and counter groups that will follow suit.

Palestinians/Jews, Shia/Sunni, Sikhs/Hindu, Christians/Muslim, Hindu/Muslim, Hutus/Tutsis, Native American/ European/ Black/ Asian, South Korea/Japan, China/Japan, North Korea/Japan, Tamil/Sinhalese, Myanmar/Rohingya, Armenians/Turks, Kurds/Turks,Greek/Turks, Spain/Basque/Catalonia,

I can go on and on, or into more detail on all the above and more, just within Africa there are over a dozen separatists movements back by neighbouring countries dominated by the minority of their neighbours, Same in many places in Europe, even North America, add in all the ethnic and border disputes in Asia, Africa and South America.

The Olympics will be one protest followed by a counter protest followed by a counter counter protest.................................

7 ( +9 / -2 )

As a human I want to express myself, if it makes people uncomfortable then so be it. They are free to express themselves as am I. Changing the world is challenging everyone has a say.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

fix your problems internally leave the rest of us out of it.

I would look forward to seeing you and others not comment anymore about internal American problems. However, I too often find the views of non-Americans helpful and true. This American will continue to comment all the unfairness in the world you mentioned.

But there is one thing I think you missed. A great deal of Americans signed up for the U.S. military because they thought they could help the Afghan people ward of oppression from the Taliban. And it was the same with the Vietnam War as they perceived communism as a threat to the people of South Vietnam. And further wanted to fight Saddam Hussein for the perceived sake of the people of Iraq. Its no good pretending Americans don't care or know about the people of other countries. A great many do. The problem is they don't know enough and are so stupid as to trust their government and corporate leaders. And THAT is why America's internal problems matter so much to the world. The people need to figure out their leaders are untrustable and thereby either refuse to help them meddle in the world OR make sure what happens is actually helpful.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

There is a world of difference between the political activism, and sports diplomacy/voicing an personal opinion. How does one separate the two as sport/politics are two important aspects of our society?

To witness the politicization of sport.

The harnessing of athletic excellence on a collision course with the political independence of the Olympic games.

Where sport become another toxic political tool.

Couldn’t Happen?

Learn about the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games a showcase for Hitler's Reich with its technological prowess

https://www.britannica.com/video/180222/Overview-propaganda-Nazi-Berlin-Olympic-Games-performance-1936

Don’t believe this couldn’t happen again, add social media into the mix.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

On the fence, on the one hand it's a good platform to get messages heard, but on the other hand it should be about sport.

It's already about sport AND advertising. No reason that activism shouldn't be added to that list.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

On the fence, on the one hand it's a good platform to get messages heard, but on the other hand it should be about sport.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Having said that, most people watch sports to enjoy the games and support whoever and not to have politics shoved in their faces.

I agree. They should also get rid of advertising for the same reason. I watch sports for the sports, not so I can decide which running shoe to buy next.

We need to take anything non-sport out of the Olympics.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The Games should permit activism as it is appropriate, not censor them.

It's amusing watching people here get all upset over people like Naomi highlighting systemic racism and police brutality in America. Keep politics out of sports, doesn't she have better things to do, she isn't even American, so on and so forth.

Yet, these very same people would stand up on their chairs and cheer and applaud if athletes like Naomi highlighted and criticized racism in Japan. In that case there is no problem whatsoever with high profile people using their platform.

Such double standards.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Professional athletes have worked long and hard to get where they are. Like actors and musicians their popularity gives them a certain amount of political clout. It would be nice if we all lived in fair and just societies. However, certain groups continue to suffer due to ignorance. Athletes are individuals with their own views and opinions. Personally I don't see any wrong if they want to use their power to raise awareness of these issues ad do some good in the world.

They can do it on their free time though. Like, on Twitter.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It would be naïve to think sporting events aren't already political. The fact that nations compete against each other and anthems are played proves it.

Having said that, most people watch sports to enjoy the games and support whoever and not to have politics shoved in their faces.

Ōsaka should not have been allowed to do that.

She is being paid to play, not be political.

If sporting events allow things like this to happen, then they'll have to allow any political point of view.

Somehow, I doubt they would ever let a tennis player to wear a MAGA hat...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Maybe the headline should be retitled "As Western sportspeople embrace activism, what should Tokyo Olympics permit?

Where does this begin and end? Is it ok for a Ugandan athlete to wear a t-shirt proclaiming support for her governments ongoing persecution of gays? Is it ok for an Ethiopian athlete to make a gesture indicating his support for Tigrayan independence? Ok for a Chinese athlete to announce support for their government policy towards Hong Kong or Taiwan during an interview with NBC after they've just won gold? Ok for a Brazilian athlete to declare their support for Bolsonaro? Ok for a U.S athlete to wear a MAGA hat on the podium while receiving their silver medal?

There's a really good reason why politics has been kept out of sports. Long may it stay that way.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

None! Do what you are there to do : play whatever sport.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Antiquesaving you are 100% correct. Also I am sure most BLM protesters don’t know if anything outside the USA or even outside their own state.

please don’t allow any activism at the Olympic.

All live matter black, white or yellow.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Clueless Americans as usual!

OK America Blacks think their problems need more international exposure but as usual for most Americans they know nothing about the rest of the world.

Here is a short list of others that may and probably will follow suit if this is permitted.

Armenians, Kurds, Yezidis, Assyrian, Rohingya, Sikhs, Both Koreas ( protesting, Japan & USA), Hutus and Tutsi protesting eachother, various Native American groups from both South & North America protesting they own region, then we will have all the religious groups/sects that are minorities in one place or another protesting their situation (Shia, Sunni, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Christians, Jews, zoroastrians, all living in places where they are minorities).

I could go on add in Chinese minorities, Hong Kong, the difference separatist movements world wide, like in Spain, Canada, France, UK, etc...

Then we will have the obligatory counter protest.

The USA and it's people have to learn more about the world, you are not the only people on the planet or the only people with problems.

BLM needs to learn more about the world Black people in the USA are nowhere near in danger compared to far more other minorities in the world, sorry fix your problems internally leave the rest of us out of it.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

I hope Osaka takes a knee during the Kimigayo at the Olympics to protest at racism in Japan. Or is it a case of US being an easy target where freedom of expression is allowed and many people are jumping on the bandwagon? I'm suspecting that she sees Japan like a new tourist sees Japan.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

This is sort of putting the cart before the horse, isn't it?

Will there be an Olympics, complete with even more over-crowding

with imported people, during a pandemic?

Political flummery aside, the first outrage is that these games are still being considered!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Of course not. We don't want athletes shoving their personal politics down our throats. It would distract from the true meaning of the Olympics, which is to shove the brand messages of the "official sponsors" down our throats.

Very nicely done.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

There have been a large number of murders of White farmers in South Africa over the past several years. It is to be expected that an athlete from South Africa might wear a shirt that says "White Lives Matter" and that it be broadcast in the US.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Potentially activists from around 200 countries around the world could be airing their domestic political, religious, and social greivances at the next Olympics to a global audience. Some of them would embarrass their governments so much that they will not be welcomed home, or be subject to repercussions on their return.

A very slippery slope to slide down.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Of course not. We don't want athletes shoving their personal politics down our throats. It would distract from the true meaning of the Olympics, which is to shove the brand messages of the "official sponsors" down our throats.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Why stop at activism? Have athletes push their sponsors. Pharmaceutical companies spring to mind.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Athlete personal political opinions are secondary here.

It is when Governments, politicians, perceived rogue states, sense a window of opportunity, to seize the political platform, handed to them by the Athletes.

This is frankly the terrifying ignorance and foolish side effects of the woke culture.    

These Athletes are no match for the skill and manipulative instincts of courtiers/professional politicians.

Stick to waving a tennis racket, or kicking a ball of air. Or jumping over something or other.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Well, Naomi Osaka doesn't have to worry about what to do for the Star Spangled Banner because she represents Japan. So "Kimigayo" will be played and she will stand in honor of the country that pays her to be the highest paid female athlete in the World without any fuss.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

If I see activism of any kind I'll switch it off. I'm sick of it. I just want to watch sport.

19 ( +25 / -6 )

All sporting events should be free from activism, it is divisive and creates bad feelings, we all have opinions that can be discussed rationally without overpaid naomis shoving their opinions down our throats ,

18 ( +23 / -5 )

How do you distinguish between activism and PR stunts?

There is already enough politics in the administration of the Olympics. Allowing politics from the participants could hasten the end of modern Olympics.

With that in mind, I wholeheartedly support every athlete, referee, towel bearer and broom pusher be allowed to hold signs, scream political causes at the spectators and make complete fools of themselves.

Hopefully the Olympics will wither away and take the professional athletes away with it.

AMATEUR ATHLETES MATTER

19 ( +20 / -1 )

BLACK LIVES MATTER

This is about the Olympics, not a US problem. Please refrain from confusing the two!

30 ( +37 / -7 )

It is a slippery slope, to plank.

Employing the use of a personal platform to deliver a chosen political manifesto.

Tennis star is not just voicing an opinion. Naomi Osaka is stating political declarations, policy, with main aim to submit or forward a political agenda.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Professional athletes have worked long and hard to get where they are. Like actors and musicians their popularity gives them a certain amount of political clout. It would be nice if we all lived in fair and just societies. However, certain groups continue to suffer due to ignorance. Athletes are individuals with their own views and opinions. Personally I don't see any wrong if they want to use their power to raise awareness of these issues ad do some good in the world.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

Sport is and should be a political activism free zone.

I am not interested in political activism when I admire and appreciate sporting excellence.

26 ( +36 / -10 )

Assuming activism is allowed, it is not difficult to imagine that every single athlete from certain countries will end up doing very specific (government supported) activism against the interests of other countries, and if those certain countries are the ones that win a lot of medals...

20 ( +21 / -1 )

I thought one of the great things about sport was a chance to get away from politicization and just enjoy the game. Silly me.

Sports and politics aren’t mutually exclusive.

-17 ( +13 / -30 )

Won't the levels of activism depend on what happens in November?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I thought one of the great things about sport was a chance to get away from politicization and just enjoy the game. Silly me.

30 ( +41 / -11 )

What Tokyo Olympics?

Countries around the world are dealing with more concentrated lockdowns so how do athletes train?

Olympic fixation seems to be akin to a mental disease amongst the media in Japan!

16 ( +24 / -8 )

BLACK LIVES MATTER

-30 ( +19 / -49 )

Don't have too many meetings about this, please probably not going to happen anyway and if it does it will resemble a schools sports meet rather than an international SPECTACULAR.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

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