Megan Rapinoe on IOC's Ban on Political Protests at 2020 Olympics: 'We Will Not be Silenced'

Author:
Publish date:

One day after the International Olympic Committee said athletes cannot kneel at the 2020 Tokyo Games, U.S. Women's National Team star Megan Rapinoe is speaking out.

In response to the IOC's decision, Rapinoe posted a message on her Instagram story on Friday.

"So much being done about the protests," Rapinoe said. "So little being done about what we are protesting about. We will not be silenced."

The IOC published guidelines on Thursday detailing what types of protests will be prohibited at the upcoming Olympic Games–no taking a knee, no hand gestures with political meaning and no disrespect at medal ceremonies.

The Olympic Charter's Rule 50 prohibits athletes from making a political stand in the field of play, but they can still share political opinions on social media or in official media settings.

Last August, two American athletes were reprimanded by the U.S. Olympic Committee for medal podium protests at the Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru. Fencer Race Imboden kneeled and hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised a fist in protest. Both were placed on 12-month probation which includes the Tokyo Olympics.

Rapinoe has been outspoken on political issues during her career and stays busy working as an activist for equality, racism and oppression. She was one of the first players–and the first white or female athlete–to join former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. 

Sports Illustrated named Rapinoe the 2019 Sportsperson of the Year due to her dominance on the pitch as a leader and her efforts to be a voice for so many people around the world.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.