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Olympic chief says Games cannot be 'marketplace of demonstrations'

49 Comments
By Marco BERTORELLO

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Well if world leaders were actually leaders if they made people's lives fair, there would be less or no need to protest. But they insist on getting their own way at the expense of the people. Can't complain about protests when you create the problem to begin with.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Go woke, go broke. Olympics are a business too. NBA ratings for the Championship were among the lowest in history and the commissioner realized this. So he told players next season that they can demonstrate on their own time but the BLM logo will be removed from the court as well as the social justice slogans on the jerseys. Sports are a way to unite no matter what the political or religious belief.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

They know Boycott China 2022 and anything else China is coming, and THIS is the response? Also Boycott the Olympics in general, it's not for humans striving for freedom and fair play, it's only for corporations

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Sports while they can unite people, in this case are not being used in such a way. They are being used to hopefully distract people.

@Nomination

told players next season that they can demonstrate on their own time but the BLM logo will be removed from the court as well as the social justice slogans on the jerseys

As much as Adam Silver would like for things to go that way, as he has tried and failed in the past, he will remember that players have a lot more power than him. That's the way the basketball world is setup.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

I'm glad this was said. A lot of the activism from the world is led by people who are lucky enough to be insulated from the consequences of their actions. Also a lot of athletes who are at the games are government sponsored athletes who are compensated relatively well for making their nation look good, and there is no need to bite the hand that feeds them and their families.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

How dare the athletes use the platform that is using them. It’s sick to expect to gain benefit from that which exploits you. It’s downright anti-capitalistic.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Would the athletes please think about the money these OC officials "get". It is quite bad for their business if people start protesting and divert attention.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

The ugly truth is that Black lives in Nigeria do not "matter" as much as Black lives in America as judged by the lack of media attention around recent police brutality in Lagos.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

How dare the athletes use the platform that is using them.

....and paying their salaries. People who feel like they are being used can easily leave like normal people.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I disagree with Bach. He is probably being pressured/paid off by China to prevent other nations athletes protesting against their rampant human rights abuses.

I agree with Lord Coe. Peaceful, respectful protests, most famous example being Mexico 68, should be permitted at the Olympics. For example, against racism, or human rights abuses by rogue states like Communist China and North Korea. Athletes with a social conscience like Naomi Osaka should be allowed to highlight police killings of Blacks in the USA loud and clear, and that Black Lives Matter.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

As much as Adam Silver would like for things to go that way, as he has tried and failed in the past, he will remember that players have a lot more power than him. That's the way the basketball world is setup.

The NBA is also a business and when ratings decline, sponsors leave. When sponsors and fans leave, salaries decline. You think the players don't mind making millions less just to get their message across?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Cool guy. He says don’t allow BLM, shouldn’t be involved in the Olympics, then says that IOC can be involved to ban BLM.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

....and paying their salaries. 

Really? Tell us about these supposed salaries that the Olympians receive. How much are they on average?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Really? Tell us about these supposed salaries that the Olympians receive. How much are they on average?

They are called sponsors and some are in the millions of $.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Good on the IOC for acknowledging the ratings disaster that was the all-woke NBA playoffs.

"Protests" in 2020 are at best a performative action to appease the race-baiters. The public has spoken, and spoken loudly. They don't have the stomach for it and won't watch if the IOC panders to these scam artists.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Totally agree with The NBA - if players want to protest, do it on their own time.

As a paying customer, I don’t want to see players wearing masks with the names of Neville Nobodies or players taking a knee.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

As a paying customer, I don’t want to see players wearing masks with the names of Neville Nobodies or players taking a knee.

Well get your money back while you still have a chance. I know I will not go (got my money back) and I will not watch(as I don't have NHK). Plus with Japan's continued whaling, continued hostage justice system I am boycotting 2020+1 olympics.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@James

You should go and wear a "Whale Lives Matter" shirt.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Peaceful, respectful protests ... should be permitted at the Olympics

Would you also agree with somebody, let's say, wore a "Blue Live Matters" jersey? And if you don't, who decides which "peaceful, respectful protest" is OK, and which one isn't? You see the issue here?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Olympic chief Thomas Bach warned against allowing the Games to "descend into a marketplace of demonstrations" on Saturday after criticism of a rule banning protests by athletes.

Good luck with that.

It's a traditional (unofficial) platform to protest. Beijing didn't like it at all, with the human rights & free Tibet protests for the 2008 games.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@Nomination

The NBA is also a business and when ratings decline, sponsors leave. When sponsors and fans leave, salaries decline. 

I understand its a business. But we need to forget that the finals happened towards the end of an election year and in the midst of a pandemic that has left many people with little means to survive. TV ratings have been down across the board for most TV programs. News media has seen huge ratings boosts. Football ratings are down and its considered the most popular sport in America. Baseball ratings are down as well. Not slightly either. Sports needs to just accept that its taking a backseat to the current political situation.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Good luck with that.

It's a traditional (unofficial) platform to protest. Beijing didn't like it at all, with the human rights & free Tibet protests for the 2008 games.

Sorry, meant to add the most famous protest by athletes in '68 Games with Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Olympic motto. Citius, Altius, Fortius

Faster, Higher, Stronger.

Don’t betray, Pierre de Coubertin 1881 wise words on the altar of posturing identity politics.

Come enjoy/admire the excellence and achievement of extreme human physical endeavor, regardless of race/gender./sexuality.

Leave the rest in the locker room, where it belongs.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Well, they've certainly chosen the right country it that's their agenda. Call out the riot cops.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Again, I ask: Who gets to decide what is acceptable to protest at sporting events? What issue, what message, what form of protest is okay? Would the liberal-leftists of JT care to answer this?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It is all about one thing: Money. The IOC is a big cooperation and it will act like one. Its biggest concern are the interest of those big sponsors and governments who gives it money. Why would people think it cares about those pesky athletics who dares to spoil my client's fun time? Money talks. No money no talks. It is as simple as that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Comedy gold from Mr. Bach.

The IOC was perfectly happy with this political demonstration:

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/olympics-are-political-ioc-ban-denies-reality-athletes-their-voice-ncna1117306

"Avery Brundage, the American who was the IOC’s president from 1936 to 1972, “was a Nazi sympathizer and a friend of Hitler. And then another president, Juan Antonio Samaranch,” who held that office from 1980 to 2001, “was a fascist, and a close friend of Francisco Franco. He also was a Nazi sympathizer. They both worked very hard to stand with the Palestinians and against Israel, and that’s why the Israeli athletes were never given the proper respect or justice."

https://jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com/i-will-never-stop-talking-about-it/

This article includes a photograph of IOC chairman Samaranch giving a Nazi salute at a funeral. Samaranch was Thomas Bach's mentor.

This idea of the Olympics being "politically neutral" is a joke. The IOC even allowed an all-white team from South Africa until they were shamed into banning the country in the 1960s.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

They are called sponsors and some are in the millions of $..

So you confirm it's about money not humanity

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Keep the Olympics, the Olympics. (Yes, I realize they're not the Olympics of yesteryear, but introducing more, and in the case of racial protests at the Olympics .. a negative, in no way improves them nor the lives of the majority of viewers and other participants. At best, a minute number of same feel some justification of their racial viewpoint and that overtakes their interest, if there ever was any, in the Olympic spirit and games involved.) Just as I strongly and firmly believe in my own opinion, I equally believe in the right of others to theirs. But, create your own venue and don't disparage the experience of the majority of viewers and athletes who want the Olympics to just be the Olympics.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Again, I ask: Who gets to decide what is acceptable to protest at sporting events?

I guess whatever the demonstrators/protesters wish to highlight. It's down to them.

What issue, what message, what form of protest is okay?

Whatever it takes? Your avatar, for instance, is a form of protest. Maybe it's a protest against our secular world, or it's a pro-(insert belief here) statement - but it is a demonstration, of sorts.

Would the liberal-leftists of JT care to answer this?

Firstly, what exactly is a liberal-leftist?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I guess whatever the demonstrators/protesters wish to highlight. It's down to them.

So you would be OK with a "All Lives Matter" or "Blue Lives Matter" protester? How about a neo-Fascist protester?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So you would be OK with a "All Lives Matter" or "Blue Lives Matter" protester? How about a neo-Fascist protester?

Not at all, because of the context and messaging behind such displays.

But it's not down to me, and as the right wing contingent like to remind us, banning stuff you disagree with is "typical lefty" behaviour, etc ad nauseum.

The Olympics wouldn't be the Olympics without some form of protest.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

They are called sponsors and some are in the millions of $.

Ok, what does that have to do with Olympians using the platform that is using them? If sponsors don't want to sponsor them, the Olympian won't have sponsors. If that's ok with the Olympian, then why should they not use the Olympics to spread their message, since the Olympics is using them to have an Olympics?

What is the problem here?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The public has spoken, and spoken loudly. They don't have the stomach for it and won't watch if the IOC panders to these scam artists.

Clarification - you mean, you won't watch.

There is no "scam" in standing up for a better world, regardless of what online voices of the right claim.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

So you would be OK with a "All Lives Matter" or "Blue Lives Matter" protester? How about a neo-Fascist protester?

Not at all, because of the context and messaging behind such displays.

Would you ban these protests? It is difficult to draw a line here. Who should get to decide what protests are acceptable or not and on what grounds?

On the whole, I’m in favour of allowing athletes to protest, but I’m very concerned about who gets to judge what’s acceptable or not.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ok, So it would be ok to protest against your neighbour, the Jones, because they refuse to trim their hedges & now their lawns.

Or protest against the local store because they overcharge on their skim milk & cornflakes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

" The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality "

Dante Alighieri.

If, by raising a voice against an injustice, one could bring awareness and mitigate the situation, then why not let people raise their voice against all forms of the same? Sports personalities have a right to respectfully use their status as a bully pulpit to speak- out against any ills affecting societies of which *they, themselves, are part of***. **BLM shines a spotlight on the most pervasive, intractable and mostly in-your-face injustice primarily on African- Americans, if they're asked to undress their experiences just for the olympics and then re-dress them soon after, is in itself, a hypocrisy that doesn't help. By being Americans, they should equitably, be able to partake that which IS, FOR and OF America.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

But the games itself, taken place at all costs and regardless of any virus spreading dangers or other occurring problems for environment or financial situation, are also a strong demonstration of those people behind it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Go woke, go broke

All the crybabies boycotting because of BLM or whatever can get lost. No one will miss them. The NBA ratings tanked for a variety of reasons - election year cable TV watching, COVID, Finals out of season, etc. Same losers boycotted the NFL a few years ago and nothing came of it. Some think they can control everything but they can't. Waaa.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Can none of our objectors explain why the UNPAID athletes shouldn't be able to use the platform that makes a fortune off of them to spread the messages they believe in? There seem to be some vehemently against it, but no one can seem to explain why the UNPAID athletes shouldn't be allowed to do this.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

No one?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And stil, none of our objectors explain why the UNPAID athletes shouldn't be able to use the platform that makes a fortune off of them to spread the messages they believe in. There seem to be some vehemently against it, but no one can seem to explain why the UNPAID athletes shouldn't be allowed to do this.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

StrangerlandOct. 26  01:35 am JST

Can none of our objectors explain why the UNPAID athletes shouldn't be able to use the platform that makes a fortune off of them to spread the messages they believe in? There seem to be some vehemently against it, but no one can seem to explain why the UNPAID athletes shouldn't be allowed to do this.

Yes. I want to watch SPORT not political posturing. There's enough of that everywhere else and i'm sick of it. Athletes have social media accounts, they should use those for causes close to their hearts. Keep the sport on the field and politics off it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I want to watch SPORT not political posturing.

Ahh so they should just shut up about causes important to them while they are being used to make $$$ while being unpaid themselves, because you don’t like it. Like good little capitalist slaves. Is that the gist of it?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yes! What is so hard for you to understand about that? They are athletes after all. If they excel on the field, you know, doing that thing myself and people want to see them do and that thing their sponsors also pay them to do, they will attract more personal attention to their other platforms where they can bang on about the other stuff that's important to them.

What is so wrong with wanting/hoping that sports stays pure to the sport?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What is so hard for you to understand about that?

Why should they care about you? You’re watching them, not the other way around. Don’t like it? Don’t watch.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't have to watch and I don't have to buy the brands that support the athletes. That's fine by me, my life goes on but if I am amongst many thousands of people who stop watching, or stop buying brands that support the athletes, the sport in its professional capacity dies. That is why sports stars should care.

Play the game on the field, express views off the field.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course... why would Bach want people to say things freely? If he had to listen to people, there would be no more Olympics, and he would get no more money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't have to watch and I don't have to buy the brands that support the athletes. That's fine by me, my life goes on but if I am amongst many thousands of people who stop watching, or stop buying brands that support the athletes, the sport in its professional capacity dies.

This is not a situation that would ever happen in the real world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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