16 June 2020

Daley Thompson supports athletes’ right to ‘take a knee’ at Tokyo Olympics

Double Olympic champion Daley Thompson has said he supports athletes’ right to take a knee at the Tokyo Games next summer.

He also said he expects the International Olympic Committee to lift their ban on allowing athletes to make political statements at Games, following peaceful protests across the world after the death of George Floyd.

He told The Sun: “Athletes are people, they are not automatons. Some of them will clearly feel strongly enough to want to take a knee, to do whatever they feel is their responsibility to do.

“There should be, whether it’s on the podium or not, a forum for them to stand up and be counted if they want to.

“It’s an important cause. All lives matter. Nobody, whether you are white, black, any nationality, deserves to be killed for the colour of your skin or for simple prejudice.

“I think the IOC will try and curry favour with sponsors and allow the athlete some degree of choice in the matter.”

And while he has said it’s ‘great’ people with a platform are speaking about Black Lives Matter and inequality, he believes there needs to be a ‘political will’ to create real change.

“There are a lot of sports people out there trying to influence change and that’s great. But I think it’s going to take more than that," he added.

"It’s going to take the will of the people that run the world. Whether it’s the President of the United States or Boris Johnson.

"Those are the guys with the real power. There needs to be a political will.”

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