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Olympic Athletes Demand Right to Free Speech On an Off the Field

If there’s something on their mind, then athletes should be allowed to speak.

-Damian Warner

Olympic athletes are standing up and demanding that the have the unlimited right to speak freely. The Olympics have a policy referred to as Rule 50 that keeps the focus of the games on the athletes’ performances rather than their politics. Prior to 2016, Rule 50 prohibited athletes from making political statements during Olympic-related interviews and meetings. Now, Rule 50 strictly applies to speech on the field of play and during Olympic ceremonies.

Activism is spreading like wildfire in this country, and everybody has a voice, including Olympic athletes. They work their entire lives at their chosen sport to achieve a worldwide platform. How they choose to use the platform they created for themselves should be up to them. In return, athletes are not required to perform in the Olympics. Requiring the Olympics to host unwanted speech sounds awfully similar to forcing social media platforms to permit former President Donald Trump back onboard. If you support the latter decision, that same rationale should apply.

Olympic athletes are absolutely entitled to free speech. The Olympics is simply an organization that does not respect free speech. Perhaps one day there will be a Parler or Gab version of the Olympics, where athletes are free to express themselves up until the original Olympics loses their following and finds a way to destroy the newly created games.

Yesterday, I wrote a short suggesting that free speech is a dying brand, and today I’m finding out that Olympic athletes are calling for absolute free speech. More people should be demanding their right to speak freely, not just those who are briefly in the spotlight this summer. You do not need a national or worldwide platform for your words to matter. The marketplace of ideas benefits from more participants.

Maybe free speech is not a dying brand, and the media wants us to believe otherwise. Perhaps people are starting to feel the oppression that’s directly caused from being silenced or censored. Hopefully this temporary push by Olympic athletes will have a positive impact on free speech not only nationally, but also worldwide.

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