Sports and politics

At the Olympics, "Rule 50" means athletes are not allowed to make political statements on the fields of play, in the Olympic Villages or during official ceremonies.


This means they can’t do things like…

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Wear signs or symbols that represent a political belief or group

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Say anything political to spectators or cameras during events

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Do anything that shows they support a political movement or want to protest against something

Comments (79)

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  • i think that it is totally fair that athletes are required to stay in a politically neutral zone during the Olympics. After all, political ideologies would inevitably lead to controversy which would draw attention away from the physical abilities of an athlete and put the focus on where the lie on the political spectrum. It would unfairly put athletes in a position where they are relentlessly criticised and their achievements undermined just because of their political beliefs. Furthermore, if this rule were not in place, then Olympians could very well be used more as political mouthpieces for their government or sponsors and given how much influence and respect these top notch athletes tend to have it would cause quite the controversies. Building on this point, athletes ma
    y be chosen for or left out of the Olympics based solely on their political beliefs. If an athlete believes in the "wrong thing" it could cause their careers to end right then and there, with objectively worse athletes being chosen to represent their countries over them based solely on the ability to push political messaging down people's throats.

    1. I respectfully disagree with you because why should we take it in a negative manner ? and think that it would draw attention away from the physical abilities of an athlete and put the focus on where the lie on the political spectrum . Rather thinking like this why don't we think that maybe the athlete is just trying share some kind of good or bad impression that he got from a person or a politician . Did athletes cease being humans when they put on a team uniform? of course no . So why should they leave one among their rights . Many countries have constitutional law that protects freedom to speech. Term freedom of expression are used interchangeably in political discourse . That's their right so why should they not talk about it . If person got real talent in this competative world they are never left back .
      Thank you .

      1. I don't really agree. Putting aside the fact that everyone has the right to express themselves, there are sometimes that expressing yourself can lead to some problems especially when you are popular or influential.
        The Olympic games brings a lot of countries together, a lot of countries that have different views and beliefs on certain issues. An athlete saying something or doing a particular gesture may be taken as an insult by another country and this could cause some friction.
        We should not forget the fact that all of them are there for the sole purpose of participating in sporting events and maybe forming new alliances with other countries. No new alliances will be formed if all the countries are displeased with the actions of the athletes. I think it is a good idea for the Olympic games to be a neutral zone.

      2. I will have to disagree with you brave_plantain, the reason being is that making the Olympic games a neutral zone is safe and prevents any disasters happening between society.
        The reason I am saying this is, these athletes have a big influence on society, especially the citizens in their country, thus if they talk or support any political statements, they might loose or gain fans from their country or any other country. Once this happens, there will be conflict between society.
        As I stated, these athletes have a great influence on society, thus making any political statements might encourage their young fans to also believe in that statement, and what if the statement made is not approve their by fan's parents? What if that statement is wrong to the society the child is in?
        Once this child has been influenced by this athlete, it will take a very long time in order to persuade him or her that the statement made is not accepted in their family or society.
        In conclusion, I think that Olympic games should be a neutral zone.

    2. I strongly agree with you. If an athlete shares their opinion on a specific politician especially if they speak out against a current government it could have negative consequences on them. They might be removed from future games which could affect the country if less qualified individuals take their place. It is best for athletes to avoid getting involved in politics and focus on their jobs protecting their mental well-being

      1. Interesting ideas. Why do you think some athletes use sporting events to express their political opinions?

        1. Hello, Chloe

          Some athletes use these types of events to express their opinion so a group of people or more could know. If I were a famous athlete, and went to speak to people I know or a small group of people what my opinion really was, they wouldn't care or even if they did, it would only be a small group of people. But if I were to express my thoughts during an important event more people would believe in me and I would have a lot of people who agreed with me so our idea would be more popular or well known so more people would probably join in.

        2. Good morning Chloe.
          I believe that many athletes use sports as a platform to express their political opinion as it is a way for their voices to be heard by a larger audience. The reason why I said so is because sporting events are usually watched by a lot of people including politicians so by expressing their opinions there athletes can draw the attention of the politicians and prompt them to make necessary changes. This is one of the best way to ensure people's voices are heard and their concerns are addressed

        3. Hi Cloe
          I think athletes use sporting activities to express thier political expressions so that they will be a good role model for people and express thier emotions.
          Thanks!

        4. Hello.
          I think athletes use the Olympics or any gathering at large as an opportunity to express their opinions because of public support and recognition. Maybe they want to inform the public about that particular issue or tell them the importance or dangers of it. This actually seems like a good way of informing the public but when it comes to political or religious matters, it could cause some friction.
          They most likely see the Olympics as an opportunity to use their present condition to influence other people to view a situation from their perspective or just to recruit more people to support the cause that they are supporting. Of course this is good for global issues like climate change but i think it is a no for political and religious issues.

        5. Athletes use sporting events to express their political opinions because they can reach a larger group of people. It may affect their popularity but if they feel the need to express feelings about their opinions they can. Some people may cancel them if they try to get it on the internet, so in person people can understand them.

        6. Hi Chloe
          I think some athletes use sporting events to express their political opinion, through FAMOUS. When an athlete that plays very well in any sports and people acknowledge the athletes, the athletes will be able to give his opinion and idea in politics for the betterment of the society or country . Also when athletes also have money in playing sports he will be giving the opportunity to support any political parties of his choice and support them with money at point in time.

        7. Hello Chloe,
          Some athletes use sporting events to express their political opinions. Athletes are influential figures with a large platform, and their participation in sporting events often garners significant attention from the public and media. Therefore, when athletes choose to express their political opinions during these events, it can serve as a powerful means to raise awareness about important social and political issues.

          Thank you!

      2. Good Day Everyone,
        I strongly agree because... it is true that sports people have a negative effect on themselves when they make their opinions about politics public. I think that this is unfair to all sports people and other celebrities that they will not be able to freely give their opinion about politics because it could bring them losses or even kill their career. Nobody should be treated this way because we all have right to freedom of speech as one of our fundamental human rights.

        Thank You.

        1. I don't think this should be a problem to sports people or celebrity to be neutral in politics

          "I believe athletes should focus on their sports career rather than getting involved in politics. Sports are enjoyable and entertain both politicians and the public. Being successful in sports relies on talent and skill, not on political connections or political involvement.Athletes shouldn't need to support politicians to make a living. Getting involved in politics could cause fans to lose respect for the athlete, especially if they support politicians who are opposed by some of their fans. To avoid problems, it's best for athletes to remain neutral in politics."

    3. I agree with you to some extent in that when athletes are allowed to make political statements during an international event such as the Olympics, it could attract a substantial amount of attention from various groups such as the government of their country, the media and various others. This could affect both the athlete and the competition by drawing attention away from the competition and athlete. Yet I disagree because I feel that athletes should also be given a chance to make comments like any other person because other people are allowed to express political opinions freely so in essence, to me it feels like it is a violation of the human right which states that there is a freedom of speech.

    4. For sure political statement cause controversies but don’t you think every person should have their own say . Because an athlete can decide to go to their social media page and make a comment on politics that’s like their say on a particular political issue because they all have their personal live and they should not be caged because they happen to be an athlete.

    5. I absolutely agree with you! Athletes must be unprejudiced and they should keep a neutral attitude to political issue. Taking part in a competition is about your skills and capabilities, not showing your political preferences and provoke others mainly when this can have a negative effect on your career and as you aforementioned, generally in you whole life. So, athletes have to show respect to politics, only focus on their success and not on protesting about a political issue.

    6. I agree with candid_earth because in my opinion, athletes should have the right to stay in politically neutral zones during the olympics. Why I say this is because, linking or connecting with candid_earth, athletes may have their own political beliefs. I also think that it isn't fair for women who are already used to wearing hijabs to be stopped. This is because most times, when women like this are stopped, it makes them lose hope, or think that the rule makers are not being fair and this is a big problem. I say this because nowadays, the number of women who are involved in sports or the olympics have reduced. This is because they think that the rule makers, are not giving their thoughts, and imaginations room.

    7. I agree because... I believe that the motive of the Olympic is to maintain International unity, sportsmanship and sometime strive to remain politically neutral. Some people believe that athletes are individual and have their own beliefs, own opinion ,own thoughts. Also , they believe that they have freedom to express and raise awareness. While some argue that the athletes should mind their jobs and not raise their voice regarding any political matter. But I believe that athletes should be politically neutral ..I don't want to talk against any religion , but I believe that at that time when French government banned some religious symbols which is equal to rule 50. This rule states that athletes should be politically neutral .. if there religious symbols allowed than many other religious person may come with their specific symbols which leads to disturbance .

    8. I agree because it is important for athletes to be neutral about controversial topics and political decisions. An athlete's comment can influence people and opponents, leading to an overall bad impact on the game. Athletes may also focus less on their gameplay and get more interested on commenting about different issues. Secondly, more than 3 billion people watch Olympics from all over the world. Due to all this, there can be a major effect and many turning events in the sports and political industry.
      Thereupon, I believe athletes should be neutral while playing sports to avoid certain situations through which they may lose their passion and career.

    9. I totally agree with you, candid_earth athletes should remain politically neutral. Sports is such a uniting factor in any country, in my country where there are over 300 languages and two major religions, the only point of sense of oneness is in sports especially football.
      Nigeria is just coming off the back off acrimonious election dividing the the country along religious and ethnic lines but fast forward, AFCON 2023 hosted by Ivory Coast saw the entire nation respective of the political biases coming together and rooting for the national team. There was such a massive sense of togetherness that even the player knew it will be unfair to hold political views since they know that they are the point of unity for the country.

      In conclusion, sports unite while politics tend to divide, therefore those in the forefront of sports should not use the platform for political purposes.

    10. The issue of religion in sports has been a topic of much debate lately. 🤔 While some argue that religion can provide much-needed motivation and inspiration to athletes, others feel that it can draw attention away from their abilities and lead to unfair judgments based on beliefs. I personally believe that the latter is more likely to occur, as we have already seen cases where athletes are judged based on their religious beliefs rather than their actual performance.

      Furthermore, I believe that sponsors may try to use athletes to promote their businesses and products. 💰 While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can become problematic if athletes are pressured to promote products that they do not believe in, or if their endorsements overshadow their actual athletic achievements.

      On the other hand, athletes are still human beings with the same rights to freedom of speech and expression as anyone else. 🗣️ They should be able to voice their concerns about social and political issues without fear of backlash or punishment. In fact, I believe that athletes who use their platform to raise awareness about important issues are doing a great service to society and should be commended for their efforts. 👏

      Overall, the issue of religion and politics in sports is a complex one that requires careful consideration. While there are certainly valid arguments on both sides, I believe that athletes should be judged solely on their athletic abilities, and that they should be free to express themselves in whatever way they see fit, provided that they do not harm others. 🤝

    11. I absolutely concur with you. I also believe that athletes should focus more on their performance rather that protesting about a political problem. Although it is important for an athlete to support whatever its right, if this can lead to the end of his/her career then it is better to keep a favorable attitude. So, we can deduce that protesting about political issues aren't actually what athletes have to do.

  • I agree with the rule that ensures that athletes stay in a politically neutral environment.
    there is a saying that states that "there is time for everything", the Olympics is a well-planned out event which is meant for sports only, we cannot intentionally use the Olympics as a platform to broadcast political issues which may lead to uncalled for disputes during games, in such cases it can even divert the attention of audience from the games and towards unnecessary political issues. As I said there is time for everything, so when it is time for sports it should be esteemed and respected, as well as when it is time for politics.

    One thing is too much involvement of politics in sports can lead lack of efficiency, take for example an election is coming up and then an athlete is desperately supporting a specific candidate, if the athlete should openly support that candidate another person can take note of that and in exchange for votes the athletes may be asked to intentionally lose a game or just do something contrary to sports rules(blackmail). Such an act if found out, may cause the athlete his or her position. Some sports may even die out when audience see that due processes are not being obeyed.

    My main point is, the excess involvement of politics in sports can cause a lot of mishaps,
    so, I personally feel that, in other to enjoy and maintain a good sports conducive environment or atmosphere we must endeavor to try as much as possible to disengage politics as well as religious beliefs and racial discrimination from sport.

    1. Hi tenacious_robin, I understand where you are coming from and I understand that the Olympics are primarily for sports, but I think that it depends on what the athletes are wanting to do surrounding politics. Since June 2020, in Premier League football matches, in the UK, every player has taken a knee before kick off to show their respect for there being 'no room for racism'. This caught football fans' attention and since it has been normalised to clap when this takes place so that not just the players are taking part in this act, which is being used to reduce discrimination in both the football world and the world outside of football. Before, there had been many instances of players being racially abused by fans for things as minor as missing a penalty. However, I believe that since this simple act of taking a knee has significantly decreased the amount of racial discrimination in the Premier League. Do you not think that an act like this should be done in front of an extremely large crowd to get the message spread further in a short amount of time?

      1. Really interesting point and very well articulated. How do you think we can fight against all kinds of discrimination in sport?

        1. I think that it will be a challenge to fight against all kinds of discrimination when it comes to sport as there are many different types, however I believe that if organisations and sporting teams/events use their grasp on the media and people's opinions to reiterate how any kind of discrimination isn't acceptable, it is possible. As we know, lots of discrimination can occur online, especially in social media, I believe that through the use of the media we could flip the public's view, who still believe in certain prejudices. If sporting organisations and teams were to use social media to their advantage and spread important messages in a short amount of time and reaching a larger audience of people from across the world, rather than just the people spectating a match. Therefore, I believe that the media has an extremely tight grasp upon the public so if they were to use that to their advantage, rather than the certain people being prejudice abusing it.

        2. I believe that we can combat all forms of discrimination by reserving seats for minorities at the start of certain international sports events. This will ensure that people from marginalized communities are included, as discrimination is often seen in these areas. By encouraging more people who face discrimination to participate in sports, we can help break down barriers and promote inclusivity. Over time, this will lead to greater acceptance of marginalized groups into the society.

        3. I believe we can stop discrimination by involving every sport and every country in the global community of sports. Some people and even sports are undermined. People think that some sports don't matter or some people don't contribute anything to the sporting world. By giving everyone an opportunity and a platform to prove themselves, everyone will be included. Events such as local competitions up to international competition should be organized to give everyone a chance to compete. When we take away the opportunities, people with hidden talents won't have a chance to shine. No country should be exempted from sport events. Like the Greek Olympics, we should use the modern day Olympics to bring everyone together for a friendly competition.

        4. Hi Chloe,
          To combat discrimination in sports, particularly in Africa, various initiatives can be undertaken. For instance, educational programs can be implemented in schools and communities to raise awareness about the importance of diversity and inclusion in sports. These programs can include workshops, seminars, and awareness campaigns aimed at promoting tolerance and respect among athletes and fans. Additionally, sports organizations and governing bodies in Africa, especially in my country, Ghana, can establish and enforce strict anti-discrimination policies. For example, they can adopt measures that penalize instances of discrimination or harassment based on race, ethnicity, gender, or other factors. By implementing such policies, sporting institutions can create a more inclusive and equitable environment for all participants. Investing in grassroots sports development is another crucial initiative. African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, and others can allocate resources to build sports facilities, provide training opportunities, and support local sports clubs in underserved communities. Lastly, promoting positive role models and celebrating diversity in sports can be impactful. African athletes who have overcome adversity and achieved success can serve as inspirations for others. For instance, they could focus on gender equality in sports and support athletes from marginalized backgrounds.
          Thank you.

      2. I agree because taking the knee in the Premier League is just a small action but it does impact a lot. This is because it shows that all the players are against racism and it brings everyone together. I also think that the opposition are more aware of racial abuse since, if one of a team's fans shouted racial abuse to a player from the opposition, the players whose fans did it would go over to them, either at the end of the game or during the game and apologise. I believe that this is very friendly and kind, and that they realised how hurtful one comment can be - they also took responsibility for themselves. Not only does taking the knee help to discriminate against racism, but it helps across the town, across the country, across the world (hopefully). I think that a lot more people are more aware of the situation now.
        In answer to your question, spirited_cloudberry, I think that taking the knee should be done in front of a large crowd to spread the message further and quicker because there are still people who do not understand what harm comments about racism can do - and they need to. I do agree that we should do this but, we can do more as well, like we can make a big announcement, a festival, maybe, to spread the word with more purpose and attention.

        1. I see where your coming from when speaking about the Premier League and them taking the knee, but an action like this would be taken extremely differently in front of an international audience. When a sports broadcasting is only nationwide those that are watching mostly come from the same place and grew up in the same type of world and sometimes the same religion.

          However, when it comes to international streaming it will lead to many different religions, political views and childhoods. These different backgrounds could lead to different opinions on whatever the action the athletes take against discrimination. So if something like this happens in something so large as the olympics it could lead to backlash from people and countries.

          It also should be down to the athlete is they want to do whatever act against discrimination and if they don't want to then they should be allowed not to face critisism for their choice.

          So in conclusion, I don't think it would be a good idea for athletes to take an act like this at large sporting events because of the backlash that may come with it.

  • Hi!
    I had an interesting discussion with some people in my locality.. I asked them, whether athletes should express their political beliefs during the Olympics. some people said athletes should stay neutral and not talk about politics during the games. Others believe athletes should be able to speak out about important issues.

    situation in France,where athletes are not allowed to wear religious symbols. This rule is like Rule 50 because it aims to keep things neutral during sports events. However, the French rule targets religious symbols specifically, while Rule 50 is broader, covering all political expressions.

    Thank you!

    1. I disagree on the statement that Rule 50 and the ban on hijabs is similar because of keeping things neutral during sports event. Well, Not allowing someone to follow their religion indirectly implies that they are not allowed in the game. Rule 50 doesn't want the person to change their own identity or restrict them from participating but it implies that there should be no political controversies in the game. Hijabs or other religious symbols are not contradicting anything. Ban on them doesn't keep the sports event neutral.

  • In my opinion I think it's fair for athletes to stay in a neutral zone during the Olympics. I believe this because most athletes can be affected in so many ways by saying something about politics. If this rule doesn't apply for athletes during the Olympics this event would be faced as a potentially problematic event for politics. This can cause a negative environment over sports.

    1. Interesting ideas. Why do you think some athletes use sporting events to express their political opinions?

      1. I feel most athletes use these events since most of them either think they are doing a good or because "Sport is political", athletes use sports as a key event to talk about politics because sports is a very extended topic among people so if an athlete talks about politics the athlete may be affected in many ways that is why I think they should stay neutral and not express their opinion in public.

    2. I agree with your point unassuming_clementine because athletes have been especially in recent history bieng used to promote some poltical ideas or argue against them. For example, in the last world cup some teams wore a pride band to promote equality for the LGBTQ+ in countries where it is against it. It is good in that case but we forget that they now bieng a walking promotion for politics when sports shouldnt. Sports shouldnt be connected to that in any sort of way especially noe. That is why I agree with your point.

      1. Thank you busy_trumpet, yes now that you mentioned LGBTQ+ in sports this is a very delicate among the people I think talking about LGBTQ+ is not necessary to talk about in sports since this topic could affect sports in many different ways making sports seem as a controversial event

  • Athletes should remain neutral to the media about poticilits. Keeping serious talks like this away from sports helps people relate and see the game as a game. Its important to keep things like this out of sports so that the sports don't become faired on one side or something worse like attacks. As far as the french athletes i believe that hijabs should be allowed because its apart of expression. There is already enough issues with religion being accepted and I believe that if its not actively hurting anyone it should accepted.

    1. Interesting ideas. Why do you think some athletes use sporting events to express their political opinions?

      1. I think that athletes use sporting events to express their ideas, because they feel like they are nIot listened to and cared for enough. They probably decide that it is time to take matters into their own hands. It is a bit sad that they have to go through this. I believe that anyone has certain thoughts on politics, but I think that they should all get the chance to express them differently. Personally, I think that when athletes feel the need to speak out to a sporting event, the government should really start asking themselves questions. I don't view it as normal at all.
        I have heard of many cases, in which certain political people have promised to do plenty of things, for the citizens benefits, but when they actually got voted and received what they wanted, they forgot to do their part of the bargain. It feels totally unfair. From my point of view, if they are going to put so much effort into getting chosen, then they should at least do it impeccably and keep their word. After all, they are there to help citizens.
        In my opinion, athletes have the right to express their opinions, as any other person, but they should keep it professional. If they want to share something with the world, they shouldn't do it at a sports event. People didn't pay money to be bombarded with political statements

  • I disagree with the Olympic neutral zone for politics because if politics does something wrong to the citizens, the citizens have the right to say how they feel about the situation but the new neutral rule has canceled the rights they have also athletes should be allowed to use the games as a platform to speak about the issues that are important to them because sports games have a lot of popularity and the athletes can use this to address their problems to others creating awareness about the bad things politics are doing in their country making people helping in the protest against the politics and putting pressure on them until they finally surrender. The new French rule is similar to Rule 50 because the French minister wants the rule to follow the same structure as Rule 50 of being neutral in sports games, and it is different because the French rule is for religious beliefs and it does not allow them to perform their religious practices and maybe it is forbidden for them not to perform their religious practices in their culture or religion while rule 50 is about protests or siding along with politics in sports games.

    1. I don't think the Olympic neutral zone for politics is a good idea. People should have the right to speak up if they think something is wrong. Remember when Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fist at the 1968 Olympics? That sparked conversations about civil rights. But now, this new rule says athletes can't do that. It feels like they're shutting them up. Some Muslim athletes might need to wear niqab, but this rule might stop them. That's not fair. It's in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18. So, these rules go against basic rights, and that's not right.

      1. I agree with you creative personality. I think the neutral zone is not a good idea because, it won't make people express their feelings, and they will begin to think that they are useless. To me, the neutral zone seems unfair because in human rights, it is necessary to speak up.
        I say so because ,if those people who made the decisions were in the neutral zone, and they are not allowed to speak up for themselves, they will truly feel cheated and that will be unfair. That is why the rule is very unfair to me.

  • I can confidently say that for the most part, I agree with the principle of maintaining political neutrality within sporting, and using sports as an environment from camaraderie among people of all backgrounds, regardless of the current political climate. Having said that, I don't agree with criticising sports people for being outspoken on an issue beyond their sporting careers, and sponsorships (unless the opinion is actively harmful to others, or compromises another sports person within their career), such as on their personal social media platforms, just as any other popular figure would have the right to do.
    However, it is a completely different story when religious individuals are banned from competing unless they remove their religious symbols. This is because religion is closely linked with identity and belief, rather than politics. This is problematic, for example, when a woman who may have a hijab, is excluded from competing until she agrees to not wear it. This inherently alienates her, and others like her, who would have to chose between their personal faith and career, and is unfair, even when the intention is in the name of secularity. This is also applicable for other individuals, such a Orthodox Jews who choose to wear a yarmulke as a symbol of devotion and connection to God, and Christians who may wear a crucifix for the same reason.
    Hope this response is well-rounded, as I myself am not especially religious, so if there is anything that I have missed, I would love to hear from you all in the replies!

    1. This is a very well-considered comment that shows excellent listening skills - you have really considered different perspectives and the implications of different forms of expression.

      Someone could argue that these athletes are doing a job, and that religious beliefs shouldn't be expressed at work. Can you think of any instances when you might support this view, and when identity should be put aside?

      1. Identity is a reflection of who we are; so I would definitely wish that one's identity should remain as far as possible from being put aside. But when I am stating my opinion, I have overlooked the inevitable opinions of a vast number of people who tend to judge people based on who they are, what their caste or religion might be. In the case of sports, if an athlete follows the religion that goes against the ideals or belief of a person who watches sports, the person might start viewing that athlete differently than the other athletes who follow a religion that the person has no problem with, even if that athlete is way better than others. This in a way is completely unfair to the athlete because all that he did was showcase himself, his identity; why then should he be seen differently than others and treated so.

  • It is right that the Olympics is a neutral zone for politics. Olympics desires to preserve the integrity of the games and ensure fair competition among athletes from different nations.
    By promoting neutrality, they create an environment where athletes can compete based on their abilities and performance, rather than being influenced by political statements. It allows people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs to come together and compete on a level playing. In the Olympics different nations players play. Each and every person have their own opinion about various topics. If they were allowed to speak out about issues, there might be a controversy. Because everyone has their own perspectives. Also, the Olympics aims to bring people together and promote harmony.
    But, we all should know that players have many other platforms to express their political views. Neutrality during the Olympics does not restrict athletes freedom of expression in their personal lives or through other channels. They can do it on other platforms too.

    Challenge : The Olympics rule 50 and ban on religious symbol of french athletes has both similarities and differences between these two.
    Similarity: Both of these rule offers neutrality in games. They want to spread harmony. They don’t want any controversy.
    Difference : Rule 50 is neutral in political views that athletes can't give any statement about politics but french athletes were banned to show any religious symbol. These both banned is different. While rule 50 promote neutrality in political views, french sports association promote neutrality in religious symbol.

  • I will say that it is totally fair for the athletes rae allowed to stay with politically parties in the Olympics. Politically ideas can give an athlete courage and make him to put focus. When you are telling an athlete or a footballer not to use political statement you are partially criticizing the person and it can make the person loss hope for the physical abilities of his Olympic career, and many athletes has been choosen over another athlete because he or she in politics and that is why most countries loss in competitions.

  • Hello everyone!
    I believe that a BALANCE needs to be found!!
    Olympics should be a place where athletes from all over the world can come together to share their passion for sport without being concerned about unfair politics. However, I also believe that athletes should be able to speak up and use their platform to bring attention to important issues. As powerful figures, they should be able to use their platform to speak out and advocate for positive change. It’s a chance for athletes to truly make a difference outside of the playing field.
    A real life example for my statement could be the case of- Race Imboden, a fencer who took a knee during the medal ceremony at the 2019 Pan Am Games to protest against social inequality. The Olympic committee did not punish Imboden. Instead, they allowed him to speak out, demonstrating that athletes can speak their minds in a responsible way without being punished, striking a balance between free speech and sports integrity.

  • In my opinion I feel it is right that the Olympics have decided to stay neutral about politics. They have done right to make Rule 50 a policy as problems such as hate and discrimination could take place if an athlete shows support to a certain group or movement. People are usually very one sided about their thoughts about different people and groups of people and are not scared to show how they feel which is usually negative. Rule 50 is entirely prohibiting and abolishing this discrimination within their athletes as it doesn’t allow them to share their opinions on highly controversial and political topics.

    Challenge: In my opinion the fact that hijabs or other religious items of clothing or accessories are banned to be worn by French athletes is totally out of order! How is wearing a piece of clothing that represents their religion similar to sharing personal opinion on politically motivated topics. Hijabs or other religious elements that are physically worn are a symbol of the wearers religion and should have no political element attached to them. How can a religious item that is a requirement (for most people or religions) be taken away from them. Muslim women are supposed to cover their hair infront on any man exept from brothers or certain family members. I feel this is a breach of the persons personal choices.

  • Honestly I am bit confused on the issue.
    Firstly every individual has a private life done by independent decision making. Whereas there is public life influenced by society etc. The athletes can express themselves politically in private lives like they do in ordinary elections and public life can be free of it. Divergent viewpoints are there in the wider public ie fans. So supporting one political view over other can be controversial.
    But athletes have immense public power. They can mobilise people for a good cause. But sometimes it may have unintended effects and a lot of controversy. This makes me uncertain.
    The case of France again gives rise to facets like private-public and religion-state separation. It may be better and worse the both ways!!

  • I think the Olympics should be a "neutral" zone for political speech. I believe this because everyone has the freedom of speech and it should be used; but, it can also be a problem with causing fights between Olympians arguing about their political views and even getting violent. But, I feel the Olympics is not the place for politics but, they should make it illegal to talk about. It's like how hijabs and other visible religious symbols were banned for French athletes. Taking away their freedom. This is why I feel the Olympics should be a "neutral" zone for politics.

    1. You use a very good example of banning religious symbols such as hijabs. Are you saying this was a political act and should therefore not have happened at the Olympic games?

      1. Yes I am. Like banning the hijabs, banning a form of speech is an injustice in my opinion as well.

        1. Hi
          I agree with you free_armadillo. Banning the hijabs is injustice for some people. Some people would not care. But as a neutral it wouldn't affect them
          THANK YOU!

    2. I agree with you free_armadilo,but I would like to add to what you said about the " hijabs". The use of hijabs were not only banned in sports but also at schools.
      I read an article about a female Muslim who is Ibtihaj Muhammad; Ibtihaj Muhammad was the Frist Muslim female to perform in the Olympics and she wore her hijab during the performance, infact she won a medal in the competition.
      So..... I don't think it's right it is right for the french to ban a female Muslim athletes from performing in any sport activities.
      What are your thoughts on this?
      Thank you!

  • In my opinion is a good idea and fair that athletes are required to stay in a neutral zone about politics during the Olympics game. There can be a lot of controversy and polemic which can also influence the way of seeing sports and their purpose from now onwards.
    Also, this can generate conflict between different ideologies and even in the worst case, provoke a bad relationship between regions or a war. The sports are supposed to entertain and being a way of connecting people together, not to cause conflicts or protest about political problems.

    1. Sports usually lessen the tension of elections and wars among people, and I think talking political may inflict trauma on those who use it to reduce the impact of the stress of politics.

  • The question of whether the Olympics should be a space free from politics is a topic that sparks debate. Some argue that athletes should have the freedom to express their views on important issues during the games, while others believe the focus should solely be on sports. In 2023, the French minister of sports banned hijabs and other visible religious symbols for French athletes to maintain a sense of neutrality. This decision draws parallels to Rule 50, which prohibits any form of political protest or demonstration at the Olympics. Both instances highlight the tension between individual expression and the desire to keep the games politically neutral.

  • In my perspective, athletes should be entitled to state their opinion freely and publicly, protest against something controversial and organise political movements. Everyone who is competing in a competition without a single exception must speak out about political issues in order to raise the awareness of people who see the game.
    The rule 50 which forbid athletes to provoke people politically and make statements on the fields of play, links with the plan of the French minister to disallow wearing hijabs or other religious symbols. This shows that in both situations athletes don't have the privilege to do what they desire and what the religion tells them to do. In simpler words, athletes don't have the freedom to be who they are and follow the customs, the religion traditions and generally what their moral tells them. Nevertheless, they differ in some ways as the france's minister rule is about religious morals and the rule 50 has to do with political issues.

  • I'm my opinion, Olympics should be a neutral zone. They were first held to celebrate unity through sport spirit and not to represent political or social beliefs.
    It is an Olympic international sport where different culture meet. But the aim is not to focus on their cultural identity but to focus on exercising your body and mind at the same time.
    It an event of peace and not a platform to speak ou about your opinions. On this way the true meaning of this event will be lost.

  • Yes I think It is right that the Olympics is a “neutral” zone for politics.The athletes should not be able to use the games as a platform to speak out about issues that are important to them.The Olympic game is a kind of a international game platform for all people.The athletes should do their best to represent their country to the world. Olympians could very well be used more as political mouthpieces for their government or sponsors and given how much influence and respect these top notch athletes tend to have it would cause quite the controversies.The author should play a vital role.

    Thank you.

  • I think that they should be able to say what they belive as it could show what they care about. They can show there support for strong positive causes like BLM. In football they have been taking the knee in support so why can they not do that it show's support for black people and support in the cause for equality in all races and genders.

    1. HELLO zestful_physics,
      I disagree with you because the Olympics or any other sport is a place were games are to be played. I say that because, players or athletes are not to go there and show some kind of political party affiliation. They were there to play a game and them showing the political party interest is a bad idea because this can cause a disaffection among the athletes and can even affect the athletes career.
      Over the years, sports and politics ave been seen not to go together. I can recall vividly when a particular player from Barcelona in Spain showed very strong affiliation for the creation of the Catalonia State by flying their flag, this created a major rift in the Spanish national team. Even the present coach of Manchester City FC is strong supporter of the Catalonia state, at the one time, he wore their arm band to a match and he was fined by English FA.
      In conclusion, sports should not be mixed with politics rather should remain a unifying factor for people.

  • I think that it's right and fair that the Olympics should have a political neutral zone. Because the sports has nothing to do with religion and these sort of things. In top of that, of any athlete did these sort of things there might be a conflict between the players and the fans.


    I believe that, it's not right and fair that the french athlete should not wear religious costume. So for instance: If there is a Muslim girl in France and he must wear hijab, so now what should she do now?
    However, i want to say again that sports has nothing to do with religion and these things.
    An example is: Salimata Sylla, a French basketball player who wears hijab expressed her dismay after France barred its athletes from wearing hijabs at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

    1. Hi fabulous_editor! I see you feel that it is not right that French athletes should not wear religious costume and I like your example of Salimata Sylla! I am interested to hear what you think the difference is between being able to wear religious costume and being able to show their political views?

      1. Well, I said before that sports don't have any relation with religion and politics. Sports are competitive games. It is not preferable for it to be controlled by political or religious purposes so as not to move in another direction, such as racism or intolerance towards a particular political group.

    2. True, I can understand the political phase because politics is not a funny thing to joke with, celebrities like sportsmen have a very big role on the minds of their fans and so they ought to be neutral about it, but I think that the religious side is not fair, religion is our belief and sport does not really change a person's belief, for instance if a fan that is Hindu likes a Shinto player, he won't change his religion because of the superstar, Mohammed Salah is a very good example, many Christians like him but they don't change their religion because of him, so I think that the religious part should be removed because religion is a person's personal faith and belief we should not change a person because of a sport.

  • I see why they have these rules to minimize hate to others, but I think as long as it is peaceful and is not hateful then it should be allowed. Yes, athletes should be able to use games to PEACEFULLY speak out about issues that are important to them. When it comes to what is happening to French athletes I think it is unacceptable. People choose their religion and should be able to wear things like hijabs and other religions. It is a peaceful act of showing your faith during a game. This rule is similar to Rule 50 because it bans your views from support. It differs because the French rule isn't just your opinion, it is your faith, something that you have given your life to, not just a thought or idea.

  • Hello everyone,
    With due respect I think that the rule 50 is a very good rule and it helps the sports world a lot because it helps to promote peace on the sporting ground. I think that it is right that the Olympics is a “neutral” zone for politics because sports have one of the biggest influences in the world. This rule is specifically made in case of mistakes. If athletes were to say something offensive, they could affect the lives of many individuals because they can have an impact to those who look up to them, they could even start up arguments in the middle of the game because a rival doesn't agree with the fact they have stated. Athletes not being to make political statement for the time being is a good idea and it helps a lot in maintaining political stability in the world, I think that this rule is good.

  • I don't mean any offense to anyone, but I believe that the ban on hijabs during competitions was a necessary rule. If hijabs were allowed, people from different religions might start wearing various religious costumes, which could potentially lead to disruption. This is similar to Rule 50, which ensures that athletes remain neutral and do not influence people to vote for a political party or show signs of protest. Similarly, the hijab ban ensures that people are not influenced or prompted to show signs of protest against something or the other.

  • I personally believe that rule 50 of the Olympics is truly not black and white. We need to acknowledge that athletes too are people who have the right to voice their opinion. If something wrong is happening in the society, they can use an international forum like the Olympics to highlight the issue and reach a larger audience. One the other hand there is a possibility that athletes would be used as puppets by political leaders to meet their agendas and aid their public reputation. Even the their career would be at stake for, public's support and the final judgement may be influenced by their political opinion. In such case the rule ensures that games are free from the influence of politicians and that athletes do not win on the basis of any form of favoritism. Furthermore, if all athletes showcase their political views on international television, the game would turn into just another medium through which parties and leaders are trying to gain votes, and their key to this would be the players.
    As for the initiative by the French ministry, the ban on visible religious symbols will make sure that an athlete's religious belief does not influence the judgement and the public's opinion for them. This would make their skills at the sport the foremost priority without raising any form of controversy. However, the religious symbols that they wear reflect the diversity of the sport and may even motivate others to participate. Ultimately, it is the audience and management's mentality that prefers focusing more on the athletes personal opinion, religion etc. and not their competency. It is the lack of acceptance in the society that necessitates rules like the Rule 50 to ensure that a game remains a game.

  • yes, in my opinion Olympics SHOULD be in a neutral zone for politics and athletes should not speak on any sensitive topic such as religion or promote any political movement, the primary reason of it being that we have already studied in the previous topic that these athletes usually are celebrities themselves who hold a lot of influence and any statement by them can cause very large disputes between different communities which can even end up taking the lives of innocent civilians!!! the ban of hijabs and other visible religious symbols by French minister is same as Rule 50 because the ban was to insure that no community gets offended due to other religious symbols being promoted and peace is maintained, Rule 50's primary motive is same as the ban to insure that equality is maintained among everyone and no one is portrayed as superior or inferior in front of anyone.

  • I think it is right for the Olympics game to be a neutral zone for politics because, most people say that politics is a dirty game, if it comes into the Olympics then the Olympics game might easily be labelled a dirty game too.
    Most times in other to win in politics people ignore harmony, unity, people’s feelings, cultural and moral values which are usually the essential ingredients in the Olympics game that brings happiness and entertainment to the participants and spectators of the games.
    When the Olympics game is used as a zone for politics, it can become unhealthy because there will be no spirit of sportsmanship but a spirit of desperation and the winner takes it all for most participant and spectators. And this can be discouraging to the spirit of unity and cooperation that is expected in the Olympics game. So the Olympics game should remain a neutral zone for politics.

  • I think that it's totally fair to say in
    sports a political or religious subject because sports are one of the most types of live things to watch that is too known as well as in the news it's not too known and somehow boring so not a huge number of people watch the news unlike sports.
    Sports is too known so it's the best place to say any political issue as everyone watches you so of course they will understand your brainstorming so I agree with Doing anything that shows they support a political movement or want to protest against something so I can agree with also wearing signs or symbols that represent a political belief or group.In the rule which is Saying anything political to spectators or cameras during events is right when you use simple good words accurately so no one can disagree with you.
    I think that when hijabs and other visible religious symbols were banned for French athletes by the French minister of sports to keep them "neutral,"It's unfair because they are at all french or they're responsible citizens work and behave good with your country so it is unfair . I think it does not return to rule 50 or their no relationship instead of that the rules sometimes are unfair because of the country which this sport is in

  • I believe that Olympic games should remain neutral! It is a combination of many sports that promote only the idea that sports are the a mix of practicing your body and mind.
    They are not a medium of promoting religion beliefs or political beliefs and this idea should be respected.
    The rules are made so as to keep everything in balance and everyone remain focus only on sport spirit.

    1. I totally agree with you.
      We have to shed lights on such international competitions that promote cooperation , peaceful competitiveness and teamspirit.
      If we involve religious and political issues big controversies will arise between countries and we will lose the true meaning of Olympics.
      We have to consider all athletes equal with equal opportunities and not focus from where they come and what their countries represent concerning any conflicts they have.

    2. HELLO sensible_ speech,
      I agree with you because when people play in the Olympics, they are there to play and focus on the game only. I do not think that it will be nice for the athletes to go and start showing a political belief or idea. But, thinking that some of the athletes come to show some political belief, that will be wrong because the athletes can cause a little conflict between themselves. What I mean is that one of the athletes thinks that the other is showing a a political belief for the spectators to change their mind about the political party, he tries this himself and before you know time runs out and the game will be over. So, it will just be that time has been wasted, not only that athletes might end up fighting on the field if they have different political ideals or belong to different political parties.
      That is why I think that sports have no business with politics just to be on a safer side.
      THANK YOU!!!!

  • In a way it is right. Rules are made to follow them. A panel of judges have already chosen the right guidelines to guarantee equality among many countries.
    By adding a culture element the shape of the games will take a total different direction. It may even trigger conflict and fans will get addicted to fanatically supporting one opinion or another.

  • I feel that the Games should be a neutral zone for politics. I support rule 50, but I have my disagreements.
    At the Olympic Games, each athlete should see and interact with each other as equals. The Olympics is a sporting event that unites the whole world. "The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." It should not be a place where there is disunity due to different political views.
    People cannot be forcefully prevented from expressing their views, as everybody has the right to freedom of speech. I agree and can understand why the Olympics does not want people to air their political views. A lot of disputes could arise when people express their political opinions that others may find offensive. But, the Olympics is a widely watched sporting event and can be a powerful tool to get messages across. So, I feel that although people should be allowed to express their ideas, they should not use the Olympics as an avenue to disrespect any other country's or athlete's political views. There is no way to be sure that an athlete will air either positive or negative views, but the best they can do is to sanction those who politically disrespect others, to discourage others from doing so. Thank you.

  • I think that players should use the Olympic as a time to express their feelings or speak out their issues because the have finally been given an opportunity were everyone can listen to them,if we give them a chance to speak they might say something useful which can help as the foundation for our country.For the challenge we should copy what other people do and learn to be ourselves,people should be allowed to express themselves wherever the feel like I agree that if the are not neutral it can even add to a fight but there are some sensible people that can stop a fight by helping people to talk calmly and resolve problems help to stop a fight but if everybody is neutral fight will continue on and never stop.

  • I think that the 'Rule 50' in the Olympics is a very good law reason being sport is about the usage of physical ability to win a competition not to support a particular motion. I think that it is good that the Olympics is a neutral zone because it is an agent of unity due to the fact that it brings people from different nations ranging from the fans to the coaches and finally to the athletes themselves. If the Olympics was a zone whereby people can express their ideas, feelings or support a specific group or movement, both the athletes the coaches will not train to make sure the athlete performs to the best of his ability, but will rather lay emphasis to what they want. So I think that the Olmpics being a neutral zone. But I think that there should be a medium for athletes to express themselves on particular topics that affect the world like climate change.
    My Answer to the challenge: I think that what was done by the French Sports to make sure the French athletes don't disobey the rules, get disqualified and also to protect the integrity of the Olympics. This is very similar to Rule 50 because he doesn't want the athletes to use signs or other mediums to support a particular motion(s). I think this action is very good because the Olympics is both a medium of unity, and a place to showcase their talent to the world so the integrity of this competition cannot be over emphazised and I think that this rule is a method of protecting the integrity so I would say that Rule 50 is a terrific rule.
    THANK YOU FOR READING.

  • The use of hijabs by some women in sports should not be seen as a way of involving in politics but should be seen as a normal religious right for anybody. I would like to delve down to the use of hijabs by women but i am sensitive about our young scholars here. The banning of hijabs is a lot different from rule 30 and should not be discouraged form sports. Everyone should have their rights to fashion and stereotypes should be avoided.
    Thank You

  • I think that athletes not discussing political views is a good thing; I believe this because if they contributed to political issues people will assume that the sports team or league is trying to expose their fans to propaganda. If athletes were able to talk about their political views, they mays lose a lot of their fans that is not related to sports in general potentially people boycotting of watching a particular game because of this.
    I believe having a neutral aspect in the political views makes more good than bad, do you want to lose money and fans because of a statement? If doing so you could potential yourself or your team may go bankrupt because of an opinion.
    But in controversy, I believe athletes should be allowed to wear a small religious element like a necklace or a bracelet quietly signify they are from a religion if they feel more powerful to do so but also not too off putting for fans to pay attention more on an extra piece of item than their game. Thank you!

  • I disagree with the idea that athletes should be allowed to express their political opinions freely, even if it goes beyond their sporting careers. While athletes are entitled to their own beliefs and opinions, they should be mindful of the impact their words can have on their fans and the overall sports community. By using their platform to promote political agendas, athletes risk alienating certain groups of fans and creating division within the sports world. It is important for athletes to remember that their primary role is to entertain and inspire through their athletic abilities, rather than to push their personal political beliefs onto others.

  • I don't get it why they are mixing religious matter with political matter. I believe that religious matter is totally personal, and no one can put any restrictions in it. I totally support the matter that Olympic is a neutral zone which is free from politics. this means that anyone who has the talent and ability can participate in Olympic without discrimination. But the French minister of sports banned hijab which is creating discrimination among the people of different religious and it's like restricting the Muslim women. We know that hijab is a part of Muslim women and the government banned hijab. So eventually they are banning the Muslim women to participate which is definitely not what the rule 50 means. Rule 50 is more like to avoid making any controversial comment in the game and to avoid supporting any political parties. But it never says to change your identity, to change yourself. Olympic is a place where you prove yourself, your ability, present yourself the way you are. It doesn't mean that you have to completely change yourself and go out of your comfort zones. I think that that the decision of the French minister doesn't properly serves the main role of Rule 50. I think the athletes shouldn't speak about controversial or political issues at the same time they also don't need to change themselves. What I want to say is that I think that the Olympic cannot force the athlete to change their identity and change themselves.

  • In my personal view sports and politics should be separate.
    The spirit of sports should not be damaged by political figures or beliefs.
    Sports should do not represent people' s personal opinions or the country beliefs.
    If this happens then a corruption may emerge and athletes may be subjected to political pressure in order to make a statement in favor of someone or something.

  • It is true that watching a sport is really entertaining. That is why it is rather difficult to mix political or cultural messages.
    By promoting a political message is like intruding the fun of spectators. It gives you a very serous feeling .
    However in a way I think there is some sense of political involvement and that happens when a national anthem is played before the start of a game.
    Isn't that a political statement? It is like a patriot calling to the audience.

  • Hello everyone,
    I believe it is necessary to have a neutral zone for politics in Olympics because there are chances of an argument or fight in the game due to their political views. This could also lead to unfairness in the game because of the political aspect they support. To keep the game fair keeping Olympics a neutral zone for politics is important

    I believe the rule 50 and ban on hijabs are different. They are maybe similar in a few ways but I believe they are different because from what I have read and from my knowledge Rule 50 is a broader prohibition against any political statement, while the ban on hijabs and other religious symbols in France specifically targets religious symbols. Also the ban on hijabs and religious symbols in France is based on secular principles, aiming to uphold the separation of religion and state, while Rule 50 at the Olympics is mainly focused on maintaining the neutrality of the games as a whole.
    Thank you.

  • The debate surrounding "Rule 50" and the ban on visible religious symbols for French athletes raises complex issues. On one hand, maintaining the Olympics as a neutral zone free from political influence ensures a focus on sportsmanship and unity. However, it also limits athletes' freedom of expression on global platforms. Similarly, the ban on religious symbols in France aims to uphold neutrality but may infringe on individual rights.

    Both cases highlight the delicate balance between neutrality and individual expression. While rules like "Rule 50" and the ban on religious symbols aim to prevent controversies, they also restrict athletes' ability to advocate for causes important to them. Finding a middle ground that respects both neutrality and freedom of expression remains a challenge for sports organizations and governments alike.

  • Neutrality is the best policy for big events such as Olhmoic games.
    It should remain neutral in order to pay tribute only to hard work of all international athletes and respect their years of dedication.
    It is not a moment to make political stances or religion perceptions. It should be a clear of any bias or cultural beliefs if we want to promote a peaceful mood and the feeling of friendship of cultures no matter what.

    1. Hi, you make a good point, maybe there shouldn't be any form of politics in big events like the olympics because i mean it is really just a place for athletes to show their hard work and skills off and for other people to enjoy that. and so by adding politics to such an event can ruin the whole point of the olympics and distract people from what the event is really about!

  • I think it is good that we do not join politics in sport because in a sport especially in a national sport, including different politics from different countries will confuse the place and cause arguments in sport places. To create peace and unity in a sport competition, it is better to make it clear that we came for sport competetion and nothing else not even politics should interfere with what was planned for, for the sake of positive actions.
    THANK YOU.

  • I think it is good that we do not join politics in sport because in a sport especially in a national sport, including different politics from different countries will confuse the place and cause arguments in sport places. To create peace and unity in a sport competition, it is better to make it clear that we came for sport competetion and nothing else not even politics should interfere with what was planned for, for the sake of positive actions.
    THANK YOU.

  • In my opinion, it is not fair that athletes stay neutral when it comes to politics in the Olympics. Besides, most people today are huge on controversial opinions. Like the Israel & Palestine war, if any of the athletes sides with Israel they would immediately be bashed. Or another thing is if any of the athletes claim to be zionists in general, people on the internet would start to look away from what the athlete could do and focus on their viewpoints/claims.
    But, when it comes to religious purposes, some people are/feel obligated to wear something that represents their religion. Alao athletes are human, and its not like anyone else can sabotage their games because athletes physically compete with each other.
    Which is why I believe that the Olympics should be neutral for politics. But when it comes to religious, individual players should be able to express their feelings.

  • I strongly believe that sports and politics shouldn't mix. The Olympics is about athletes pushing themselves to the limit in order to see how far they can go and what they can achieve. It is about hard work, but also passion. From my point of view, politics have nothing to do with that. Certain people might want to take advantage of the Olympics, but I don't think they should be allowed. I have noticed how politics have been trying to get into many industries, just to get more people to support them. Sometimes, it can feel incredibly overwhelming and gives people the impression that they can't breathe.
    From my point of view, a sports event isn't the right place to promote politics, nor is it the right time. I doubt that people who go there to watch it wish to see something that is so off the main topic. I also think that placing certain,, advertisements,, when an election approaches is just terrible. From what I hav