Athletes at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will be free to protest on the podium by making “positive expressions of their values”.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has unveiled ‘Athlete Advocacy Guiding Principles’ for competitors at Birmingham 2022.
The CGF says it will support any athlete who wants to positively highlight or draw attention to an issue that they feel is important, especially those around race, gender, sexual orientation and social injustice.
CGF president Dame Louise Martin said: “It is the belief of the CGF that athlete advocacy and activism humanises, rather than politicises, sport.
“Under the guidance of CGF Athletes Advisory Commission chair Brendan Williams, I am proud of our approach to help strengthen the athlete voice. We want to encourage the positive, not police the negative.
“Ultimately we trust our athletes as inspirational leaders who make a positive impact in everything they do.”
Williams said: “I am proud that we are unveiling our Athletes Advocacy Guiding Principles today. This is the result of a vast amount of work from many dedicated people.
“The CGF Athletes Advisory Commission is fully committed to strengthening the athlete voice and amplifying the views of our athletes.
“These guiding principles seek to encourage tolerance and understanding. Advocacy at its best is clear, positive, meaningful and most importantly, respectful of others.
“Our role in the coming months is to ensure that the guidelines are clearly understood by athletes and implemented for the good of everyone involved in Commonwealth Sport.”
The guidance is based around three principles with the CGF respectful and understanding that athletes may want to make positive expressions of their values in line with the CGF’s principles of humanity, equality and destiny.
The CGF also recognises that athletes are inspirational leaders and advocates for integrity, and any such positive expressions of values are subject to the CGF Charter of Good Conduct.
To ensure that the advocacy guidelines are understood, the CGF AAC will reach out to all 72 Commonwealth Games Associations to engage with their Athlete Commissions in a series of global workshops.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham between July 28 and August 8.