They said it, they did it.
Before the kick-off of the match against Chile which they won 2-0, the English women did indeed put one knee to the ground.
They are the first athletes to use this anti-racism protest gesture after the International Olympic Committee re-authorized it.
The legs of the Chileans have also joined the lawn of the Sapporo stadium.
The British team had warned that their footballers would kneel for the Games and that the latter would be supported by the British Olympic Association: “As one of the most diverse sports in Britain, Team GB will always support athletes and their right to promote equality and a more just society when it is done in a peaceful manner, with respect and without causing disturbance, ”added Andy Anson, President of Team GB.
🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧 # TeamGB pic.twitter.com/1w4bljDUk9
- Team GB (@TeamGB) July 21, 2021
This gesture, sometimes controversial and which symbolizes the Black Lives Matter movement against racial discrimination, has become more and more widespread in the sports sphere and in particular on football fields in the United Kingdom.
The players of the England men's team also fell to their knees during Euro 2021.
More freedom for Olympic athletes
The Olympic charter, specifically Rule 50, has recently been amended.
This normally states that "no kind of political, religious or racial demonstration or propaganda is permitted in any Olympic venue, site or other location".
By decision of the IOC, athletes are now authorized to freely express their opinions, whether political or societal, in front of the media, on social networks, during team meetings or before the start of competitions.
However, demonstrations are prohibited within the Olympic Village, during events, anthems, on the podiums or even against "people in particular, countries, organizations" under penalty of sanctions.
Read alsoEuro 2021: the teams that put one knee to the ground before the matches are not unanimous
The knee on the ground before the start of an event is the symbol par excellence to demonstrate a commitment to racial justice. Others intend to follow suit. The New Zealand Olympic Committee has said its female footballers will drop to one knee ahead of their game this Wednesday against Australia.