Sports

Respect’ voices over death of George Floyd: IOC

Beijing/ London, June 3 (IANS) | Publish Date: 6/3/2020 8:48:03 AM IST

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) respects athletes’ rights to express their feelings and opinions over the death of George Floyd, an IOC spokesperson has said.

A number of athletes have voiced their support for the protest over the death of Floyd, an African American who died in police custody last week, and the Black Lives Matter movement against racial discrimination.
“The IOC fully respects that many athletes have made statements on social media and in the media. This is their individual right, and this is a right that we fully support,” an IOC spokesperson told Xinhua news agency via e-mail.
Sports organisations including the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee have also expressed solidarity “with all who are committed to be forces for good.”
German Olympic Sports Confederation president Alfons Hoermann supported athletes to “raise their voices over such a completely unacceptable development,” in an interview public broadcasters ZDF.
“For its part, the IOC will continue to be guided for all Olympic-related matters by the Fundamental Principles of the Olympic Charter, in particular Principle 6, which states: ‘The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.’
“The IOC will continue its mission to bring the entire world together through sport, whilst respecting the scope of its mandate,” the IOC spokesperson added.
The death of Floyd has sparkled international outrage as protests have spread beyond US cities.
I have a fear and distrust towards police: Onuoha
 Major League Soccer (MLS) footballer Nedum Onuoha has said he does not feel “100% safe” in the USA and has distrust towards police.
Onuoha plays for Utah-based Real Salt Lake in MLS after spending six years at QPR and has previously turned out for Manchester City.
“I am always very wary of how I behave and how it could be viewed by people who have power,” Onuoha, 33, told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“For me personally, overall I don’t like to say it but I have a fear and distrust towards police.”
George Floyd’s death has caused a nationwide protest in the US. Floyd, aged 46, died last week shortly after Derek Chauvin, a police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe,” and “please, I can’t breathe”.
Sports superstars have shown support to the protests on social media with a ‘blackout’ -- uploading a black image alongside a message of support.
The entire Liverpool squad took a knee at the centre circle at Anfield, in a picture shared by ‘The Reds’ on their Twitter handle.
Footballers around the world are taking a stand and voicing their anger following the death of Floyd. The movement has picked up pace with the coming together of such high-profile individuals.
“People have been trying to make noise. I have been trying to say things but it gets pushed away for too long. Enough is enough; what gives me strength is that it’s not just black people who are protesting now,” Onuoha said.
“The change will come but within that, there are so many nuanced things within the protest -- for example, a lot of black people are scared to do what some of the white people are doing to the police.
“It’s crazy to see but it is very necessary. I am not going to say to them that they shouldn’t do anything because they haven’t been heard for this long so let them be heard now.”
 

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