Famously, at the Olympic Games, athletes must follow “RULE 50”, a rule made by the International Olympic Committee banning any form of activism at the Olympic Games. Athletes must not wear, say or do anything that makes a political statement so that the events can stay “neutral” (not take sides).
At the World Cup however, this is not the case. Some players have protested against Qatar’s strict rules against the LGBTQ community. For example, before a qualifier match, German players painted their shirts to read “HUMAN RIGHTS” and players from other teams said they wanted to wear a rainbow armband for their matches.
The captain of the Iranian national football team also used a press conference about the World Cup to share his support for protesters in Iran, following the death of Mahsa Amini.
Pass to you!
- Do you think athletes should be allowed to make political statements at events like the Olymics or the World Cup? Why or why not?
- Do celebrities, such as famous footballers, have a responsibility to speak out against problems, such as the human rights issues in Qatar? Why or why not?
- If you were an athlete, would you choose to speak out? What about? Why?
This is a great chance to ask each other questions – so make sure you ask other Topical Talkers direct questions by replying to their comments.