News has just come out that athletes at this years Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, will be allowed to publicly protest about social injustice issues.
Many will welcome this move by the organisers. But I have my doubts this will be the case by the time the Games begin during the summer.
The cynic in me tells me that nearer to the date when the Games begin on 28 July 2022 the organisers will have to walk back this measure or water it down significantly due to pressure from certain governments (incl. the host, UK) to save any blushes.
Social injustice means different things to different folks.
So just think of political and royal dignitary fall out if a black athlete representing the Caribbean or the UK stands up on the podium and protest about the need for Britain to pay reparations for slavery.
I would love to see such protests yet..
Will the media cover these protests and will the BBC cameras stream these dissents live or cut away from certain protests that could anger some member governments.
Just imagine if an athlete makes a public stance against the Narendra Modi-led Indian government’s treatment of the local Muslim community or Kashmir and it gets screened?
How will the organisers handle any protests in support for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange?
If some protests are indeed allowed then those athletes are likely to be vetted by the organisers before they can make their symbolic voices heard. Some will be pressured not to go ahead.
Still cannot see the protests really happening at Birmingham. I hope I am wrong.