Great Britain and Chile teams took a knee on the pitch earlier than their match, and the United States and Sweden teams knelt ahead of their conflict on Wednesday.

It’s been nearly 5 years since former NFL player Colin Kaepernick knelt throughout a pre-game National Anthem to protest racial inequality. Since then, and particularly since George Floyd’s death in police custody in May 2020, gamers of different sports activities and all over the world have made the gesture in solidarity with the equality motion and in opposition to the oppression of individuals of shade.

“For us, it feels right to stand up for human rights. There was communication with the US team,” Swedish defender Amanda Ilestedt mentioned after the match. “It feels good to do that. It is something we stand for as a team.”

The ladies’s soccer crew from New Zealand took a knee earlier than their opening match in opposition to Australia. The Aussies remained standing with their arms locked collectively.

The Australian crew posed for a pregame image with the nation’s indigenous flag.

Midfielder Tameka Yallop mentioned after the match that the crew is in opposition to racism however needed to indicate assist to the “broader Indigenous Australians.”

“We are obviously in support of no racism, we definitely wanted to take a stand and show our support of that, and we also wanted to represent not just Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams within our team, but the broader Indigenous Australians, and give our own Australian flare to shed light on that aspect of it as well. We just wanted to stand together for the Australian culture and the Indigenous side of us,” Yallop mentioned.

Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams are Aboriginal members of the crew.

On Wednesday, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach confirmed that kneeling didn’t violate the group’s guidelines in opposition to protesting.

“It is allowed, it is not a violation of the rules,” Bach mentioned.

In April, the ban stopping athletes from protesting or demonstrating on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was upheld by the IOC, however the committee later introduced it was amending that.

Under the brand new pointers, athletes can protest on the sector earlier than a competitors or whereas they’re being launched, so long as the expression just isn’t focused “directly or indirectly, against people, countries and/or their dignity.”

NCS’s Courtney Culp and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.


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