Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sports Stand for Equality, and Reject Racism
President of Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee advocates gender and race equality

Sports news staff |
July 22, 2020 11:07:04

Protest by Olympic medalists Vince Matthews and Wayne Collett, at the 1972 Munich games. Photo: AP

PORT OF SPAIN.— The President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), Brian Lewis, advocated for gender and race equality in world sports, in an article published in the local newspaper Newsday.

Since he assumed the TTOC presidency, Lewis has defended non-discrimination in sports and broadened his struggle in solidarity with many athletes, following the May 25 police murder of George Floyd in the United States, the newspaper reported.

He has called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to lift the ban on U.S. medalists Vince Matthews and Wayne Collett, following their historic protest at the Munich 1972 Games, where they won gold and silver, respectively, in the 400-meter race. During the medal ceremony, they conversed as their country's anthem was played, purposefully displaying an attitude of indifference in protest against racial discrimination.

Lewis told Newsday that the suspension, which has been in effect for 48 years, is incomprehensible, and called for the reinstatement of the African-American athletes to their rightful place in the world Olympic movement.

Collet died of cancer in 2010, so his recognition would be posthumous. A year later, Matthews was inducted into the U.S. track and Field Hall of Fame.

Following the Floyd case, several international federations have supported the demands of athletes to protest racial discrimination and advocate inclusion on courts and in stadiums.

After weeks of protests against racism in the United States, the owners of the National Football League (NFL) Washington Redskins team agreed to change the name of the franchise.

Pressure on the team's owners following George Floyd's murder finally buried the nickname the team has used since 1933, which has been regularly denounced as an insult to American Indians.

A statement was released saying, "In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing that the team will undergo a thorough review of the team's name."

Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians have also committed to evaluating their name. The team's manager recently stated that it's time to change and move forward.

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