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Tuesday, September 08, 2020
CANOC President Looking for Change

Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees President Brian Lewis has questioned whether sport leaders can be trusted to act on issues such as racism and sexism.

Lewis made the comments during an address at the Sports Integrity Global Alliance's online Sports Integrity Week event.

"In the world of international sport, sports leaders know the truth, see the truth but still believe the lies and deny the reality of racism, sexism," said Lewis, according to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian.

"The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of human rights.

"Discrimination persists against religion, ethnic minorities, persons of African descent, older persons, women and persons with disabilities.

"International sport is run by white, male decision-makers who have never been racially abused.

"They have no idea what being racially abused feels like.

"Or what being discriminated feels like, it doesn't affect them.

"Can we trust world sports leaders who talk the talk?

"They say the politically right things when they are in public but behind the scenes, the actions they take don't reflect the principles of equality and non-discrimination.

"Can we trust world sports leaders and decision-makers to walk the talk?"

Lewis, who is also President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, spoke with athletes across sport showing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement in recent months.

This includes players in the National Basketball Association and Women’s National Basketball Association who have boycotted matches to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

In the Olympic Movement, there have also been renewed calls for a change to Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter with some calling for it to be scrapped altogether.

Rule 50 states that "no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas".

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) claims this is designed to protect the neutrality of sport and the Olympic Movement.
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