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Tokyo Olympics: Athlete Protest Ban And Possible Covid Pushback

The International Olympic Committee is keeping athlete protests on the bench for the Tokyo Games while the country declares state of emergency.

The I.O.C. announced Wednesday protests will not be allowed inside stadiums, at ceremonies or on podiums and will be punished. It comes after a lengthy consultation process involving more than 3,500 athletes, which found about 70% didn't want to see protests on those stages. It's unclear what sort of punishment athletes would face for doing so, but recently ESPN reported that following the announcement a global union is offering legal support for any athletes who protest at the games.

Now just three months before the Tokyo Olympics, Japan is declaring a third state of emergency in order to stop a surge in coronavirus cases, with about a quarter of the country's population told to stay home. The emergency measures will be "short and intensive," from Sunday through at least May 11th. That will stop people from traveling during Japan's "Golden Week" holidays. Stores, malls, theme parks, theaters and museums will all be asked to close.

Amidst the stay-at-home orders and backlash for denouncing athlete protests, the committee still plans to go forward with the Summer Games.

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