Tokyo 2020 - Dina Asher-Smith: Team GB athlete warns podium ban on taking the knee is 'unenforceable'
The issue of whether athletes in the Tokyo Olympics will take the knee as an anti-racism gesture is back in the spotlight. The world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith has warned that punishing athletes who carry out any gestures is "unenforceable". The Briton did not say whether she would take the knee but said Olympic chiefs would be "shooting themselves in the foot" if they punish athletes who do.
'I don't understand how they'd enforce it' - Dina Asher-Smith questions Olympic protest ban
Asher-Smith, 25, believes that any ban would be "unenforceable".
The world 200 metres champion said: “When it comes to people’s voices there’s very little you can control.
When people feel strongly about something, particularly when it’s something that’s so close to your heart - particularly for me that topic would be racism, as a black woman you think about racism - I just think you can’t police people’s voice on that.
Asher-Smith, who has not declared whether she would take the knee if she wins a medal in Tokyo, said the rule is "an incredibly difficult thing to do".
She drew comparisons with the 1968 Games in Mexico City when American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists on the medal stand.
Team GB players take the knee before kicking off against Chile
She added: "Some of the Olympics’ most iconic moments have been the black power salute by Tommie Smith wayback when, that is something people remember the Olympics for, something they’re very proud to see at the Olympic Games.
"So to think they’re suddenly going to get up and say 'absolutely not', I think they’d be shooting themselves in the foot."
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