At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the US shot putter Raven Saunders faces a penalty for a “political” protest at an award ceremony. The 25-year-old crossed her arms over her head after winning the silver medal on the podium.
With the “X-gesture” she wanted to express solidarity for the rights of “oppressed people,” said Saunders. The X is the intersection where all oppressed people meet.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Monday morning that it is investigating the incident. Spokesman Mark Adams said the IOC is in contact with the World Athletics Federation WA and the US National Olympic Committee (NOK). However, in the run-up to the games, the NOK had declared that it would not sanction its own athletes in the event of protests.
Saunders with an eye-catching appearance
The black athlete Saunders is primarily a public advocate for the interests of People of Color, and she is also committed to the LGBTQ community. At the Olympic final, she made a garish appearance with a striking mask and brightly colored hair.
The IOC had softened its strictly negative attitude towards political protests during the games, the controversial rule 50, tolerates peaceful gestures before the competition. The German hockey captain Nike Lorenz was allowed to play with a rainbow armband on her neck with the permission of the IOC. The IOC prohibited political protests at awards ceremonies.