The Olympic Statue of Tommie Smith and John Carlos stands on the campus of their alma mater San Jose State University in California. (Kyodo)
TOKYO – Olympic Movement stakeholders face a challenge to strike a balance between embracing activism in sports and preventing the games from turning into a stage for political demonstrations in Tokyo next year amid a surging protest movement against social injustice.
Douglas Hartmann, a professor and chairman of the Sociology Department at the University of Minnesota, argues that society is becoming more tolerant about athletes’ involvement in protests and activism, and the trend is likely to affect their behavior at the upcoming Tokyo Games.
“This is awareness, new levels of awareness about anti-blackness, about police brutality to African Americans, about institutional racism. I do think in the sports world, there has been a build-up of activism and awareness over the last decade,” he said in a recent phone interview…