LONDON — Before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, the British women’s soccer team intends to take a knee.
The players have been taking an anti-racism stance over the last year, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently amended its regulations to enable Olympic athletes to make protest gestures in their field of play during the Tokyo Games.
Britain coach Hege Riise said, “The players and staff have been taking the knee at the club and international level for over a year now, and we were all united in our decision to continue doing whatever we can to raise awareness of racism and discrimination in all its forms, standing in unity and solidarity with all those whose lives are affected.”
The Olympics begin next week, with the group stage featuring Britain, Japan, Canada, and Chile.
“We are sure that kneeling is an essential symbol of peaceful protest against discrimination, injustice, and inequality in society, and we are pleased that the IOC has recognized the significance of this form of freedom of expression,” Riise added.
We shall do it with the highest respect for our fellow competitors, officials, and the International Olympic Committee, and with appropriate consideration for the Olympic ideals.”
The four nations that make up the United Kingdom typically play soccer separately, but they are permitted to compete in the Olympics thanks to England’s run to the Women’s World Cup final in 2019.