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International Games
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
IOC, FIFA, World Athletics & CGF Latest to Issue Protest Statements

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it "fully respects" statements made by athletes concerning the ongoing protests in the United States following the death of George Floyd, while the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) says it will hold an athlete forum to foster change.

There have been seven days of protests across the US and beyond since the killing of Floyd in Minneapolis, for which now-fired white police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder.

Footage of the incident shows Floyd, an African-American, pleading with police that he was unable to breathe as Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, even after Floyd lost consciousness.

Three other police officers who were also present have been fired.

FIFA and World Athletics are among the latest sporting organizations to issue statements as ongoing protests continue in the United States following the death of George Floyd.

Floyd died on May 25th in Minneapolis with video footage showing a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on his neck for several minutes.

Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe.

His death has prompted renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, with anger centered on police killings of black Americans.

"FIFA fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case," a statement read.

"FIFA had repeatedly expressed itself to be resolutely against racism and discrimination of any kind and recently strengthened its own disciplinary rules with a view to helping to eradicate such behaviors.

"FIFA itself has promoted many anti-racism campaigns which frequently carry the anti-racism message organized under its auspices.

"The application of the laws of the game is left for the competitions' organizers, which should use common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events."

World Athletics also promoted an anti-racism message and said the governing body "stands beside our athletes and all people who are demanding change".

They used the image of Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the podium at the Mexico 1968 Olympic Games.

The American sprinters raised black-gloved fists during the medal ceremony, which served as a civil rights protest against racial discrimination.

"Our athletes and the athletics' family have been rocked by this so I am going to call the sport together," said Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President.

"We must find our collective voice and practical actions."

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has said it passionately believes that athlete advocacy and activism "humanizes rather than politicizes" sport amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

An open letter on the issue has been released by the CGF and is signed by CGF President Dame Louise Martin and chief executive David Grevemberg.

It calls on people involved within sport to use its platform to encourage participants, ranging from athletes and coaches through to sponsors and administrators, to stand up for what they believe in.

"Citizens across the world have mobilized to stand up for equal rights, for freedom, fairness, equality and justice," the letter reads.

"This must be our wake-up call too.
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