Boston city employees prohibited from criticizing Olympic bid

Wednesday January 21st, 2015

Boston mayor Martin Walsh signed an agreement with the United States Olympic Committee banning city employees from criticizing Boston's bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, according to a report from The Boston Globe.

The city and its employees are now forbidden from writing or saying things that "reflect unfavorably upon, denigrate or disparage, or are detrimental to the reputation" of the USOC, the Olympic Games or the International Olympic Committee. Instead, Boston city employees "shall each promote" the city's bid "in a positive manner," under the "joinder agreement."

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From the report:

"Mayor Walsh is not looking to limit the free speech of his employees and, as residents of Boston, he fully supports them participating in the community process. This was standard boilerplate language for the Joinder Agreement with the USOC that all applicant cities have historically signed," Walsh spokeswoman Laura Oggeri said in an e-mail.

The USOC announced earlier this month that it had selected Boston as the U.S. applicant for the 2024 summer games. Boston is among a number of international cities competing to host the event.

A recent poll found that more than 55 percent of Massachusetts residents polled support Boston's Olympic bid, but some have resisted the idea, including a group called "No Boston Olympics."

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