Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice Reveals New Recommendations

On Wednesday, with the support of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), the Athletes’ Advisory Council (AAC), and the United States Olympians & Paralympians Association (USOPA), the Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice released their second set of recommendations. Their recommendations cover a variety of “ways to enhance athlete expression in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements.” 

The athlete-led council was first established by Team USA to “address the rules and systems in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements that create barriers to progress” and provide solutions and recommendations that target the elimination of social injustice as well as the amplification of athlete voices in order to cultivate change.

In their second set of recommendations, the council covers four main areas of improvement: athlete support, education, communication, and protection. With their new guidelines, the committee hopes to “elevate the expression and advocacy of athletes from historically silenced, marginalized or minoritized groups within the Olympic and Paralympic community.” 

In their announcement, chair of the Council Moushaumi Robinson (2004 Olympic gold medalist in track and field) emphasized the potential role that Team USA athletes play in creating “lasting” and “impactful change.” She notes, however, that the council cannot work alone and thus the implementation of the council’s recommendations requires the collaboration of the USOPC and National Governing Bodies (NGBs).

The support aspect of the recommendations cover the ways in which the “USOPC and affiliated organizations provide support services beyond athletic development,” such as providing necessary legal support to Team USA athletes experiencing discrimination, creating a system of career and professional services for athletes entering the professional world, and financial literacy education opportunities for athletes.

The recommendations regarding communication efforts focus on the avenues through which the USOPC and affiliated organizations can “increase internal and external communication opportunities for athletes.” Such efforts may include training opportunities for athletes covering the ways in which they can use their platforms to call for racial and social justice, “creating an organizational statement of commitment to racial and social justice from the USOPC, NGB and AAC leadership,” and designing a tool by which Team USA members and staff may report violations of non-discrimination policies.

Surrounding the educational area of their recommendations, the council suggests that the USOPC and affiliated organizations provide opportunities for athletes, coaches, USOPC representatives and NGB staff to continue learning about topics such as systemic racism, social injustice, bias and microaggressions, as well as sexual, emotional and physical violence trainings.

Lastly, the recommendations address protection of athletes through the installation of a “no retaliation policy to protect athletes who report instances of discrimination, abuse, harassment and/or harm, as well as creating an accountability mechanism for discriminatory acts and sentiments that protect athletes from harm, abuse and harassment.”

  • To read the full list of recommendations, click here.

In December, the council released their first set of recommendations, which focused on the issue of protests and demonstrations as related to Rule 50 and Section 2.2 of the IOC’s guidelines. Rule 50 prohibits any demonstrations during the Games, whether it be political, social, or religious demonstrations. Athletes are, however, still permitted to express their views while doing media.

The council requested that the IOC and the IPC amend the rules in order to “end the prohibition of peaceful demonstrations by team members at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.” The council claimed that athletes should have the right to “demonstrate against racial and social injustices and to promote human dignity through global sport.”

In late April, the IOC Athletes Committee released their own set of recommendations on the matter, reiterating the message of the Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice and asking for certain demonstrations (those promoting social and racial justice) to be allowed at the Games. 

The IOC convened for a reexamination of Rule 50, but ultimately decided that the rule would remain in effect for the 2021 Games in order to maintain “political neutrality.” In contrast, the USOPC announced in March that athletes participating at the Olympic Trials events in the U.S. will be free to partake in any racial or social justice related demonstrations.

43
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
43 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Deepblue
3 months ago

Affirmative action 🤝 Swimming

Yabo
Reply to  Deepblue
3 months ago

Tmw you don’t read the article and just comment something stupid

NIhss
Reply to  Deepblue
3 months ago

this so good news for USA Team

Yozhik
3 months ago

Will we see finally the properly diversified USA Olympic swimming team? IOC runs this process for long time already by restricting number of swimmers in each event per nation allowing with that other nations sending their Olympians regardless their season rankings (“b” cut is the only restriction).

Yozhik
Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago

To those who downvote this particular post. Be thankful that modern technology allows anonymous chatting boards and that Swimswam is legally obliged to not reveal your contact info. Otherwise your are playing with fire. Literally.

Swimmer Steve
Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago

Are you suggesting we pick athletes based on their race? I’m all for promoting diversity and getting more diverse children into the sport, but geez I hope people don’t share your opinion. Also what’s with the hostility? People disagree with you so you think the best idea would be to publicly shame them? You wish that was an option so people wouldn’t be able to express their opinions honestly?

Paella747
Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago

Literally? We’re literally playing with fire?

Drewbrewsbeer
Reply to  Paella747
3 months ago

Perhaps a reference to recent events.

minorityswimmer
Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago

This is an absurd post. As someone who is “minority” in race, I have no problem with the current selection process for team USA. It is as equal and fair as can be.

JRKay
Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago

Literally playing with fire?

Curious
Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago

What does a properly diversified USA Olympic swimming team mean?

Comet
Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago

One of the worst and most belligerent comments in SwimSwam history. Btw I down voted you what are u going to do about it ?

wkkd
Reply to  Comet
3 months ago
Swimboy58487
Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago

My guy you sound like a straight dictator.

Yabo
Reply to  Yozhik
3 months ago

I don’t even know what you’re trying to suggest

Distance Per Stroke
3 months ago

1 of the 2 spots for each Olympic event should be reserved for the 1st placing POC.

Troyy
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
3 months ago

Sounds good. More medals for other countries.

Comet
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
3 months ago

So should we similarly deprive talented and hard working sprinters of their spots on track team because there isn’t enough diversity in those events either ? talent and hard work should always mean something and be rewarded!

Admin
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
3 months ago

South Africa actually had a race component to the selection of their National Team in 2019: https://swimswam.com/south-africa-includes-racial-component-in-national-team-selection/

swimnick37
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

This seems like it is for selection of the National Teams (Senior/Youth/Developmental/etc.) in South Africa, but their selection of the Olympic Team will not factor in race, correct?

John lock
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
3 months ago

Yep! And every basketball, football, and track team. Needs to be 65% white.

Swimboy58487
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
3 months ago

My gosh this has too be satire 🤣🤣🤣

Scotty P
Reply to  Swimboy58487
3 months ago

I agree with you. Eric Cartman has entered the chat in some way shape or form.

Last edited 3 months ago by Scotty P
JRKay
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
3 months ago

Swimming is a pure meritocracy
That’s what’s beautiful about it.

swimapologist
Reply to  JRKay
3 months ago

Let me throw out an idea to you:

A swimming race is a meritocracy (I wouldn’t use the word ‘pure’ because there’s some small wiggles about it being a pure meritocracy, like lane selection and etc) but it is essentially a meritocracy.

But that’s a more specific wording than you’ve used.

Swimming as a whole is not necessarily a meritocracy. Swimmers don’t get access to clubs based on ability, they don’t get access to pools based on ability, they don’t get access to the best coaching based on ability, they aren’t able to afford to travel to the big meets based purely on ability. They don’t have parents who know how to swim based on ability. There is a lot… Read more »

Luis Vargas
Reply to  swimapologist
3 months ago

Swimming is an expensive sport. Its a pay to play sport and as such the socio economics of our country dictate its demographics. Swimming is logistically difficult to participate. I tried to start a program at a Title I elementary school and I could not get it off the ground. I had pool space, I had a coach and I had kids interested but liability and transportation killed it. Its very difficult. What USA swimming needs to look into is getting pools into elementary and middle schools. Start swim programs in schools, just like you would basketball. You have to start at this level. If you can help School Districts build pools and start programs for the little guys then… Read more »

Yabo
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
3 months ago

Don’t take the bait, no one actually thinks this. All anyone wants to do is make the sport in general more accessible to everyone

Corn Pop
3 months ago

This hyper emotionalism about race & colour is just emoting . Everybody on the planet can be DNA tracked very simply to 200 years of ancestry .
How far do we want to go back & what % are we going to use to claim X race or Y ethnicity ?

For example Barack Obama is racially 50: 50 but ethnically ( upbringing & values) white . His father left Hawaii for Harvard when he was weeks old . According to his books he did not see him till a meeting at Hawaii airport 11 years later . As an adult he visited his fathers family in Kenya & began to identify as Black. .

DJT is… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Corn Pop
Anti-Racism
Reply to  Corn Pop
3 months ago

This is so wildly tone deaf. People face legitimate discrimination and marginalization in this country, often due solely to their appearance. But sure let’s tell people next time they’re being pulled over by police to just pull out their DNA tracker. I’m sure that will keep the situation from escalating. BTW, you only got likes on this comment because you brought up Barack, and bigots thrive off of blindly questioning the mans ethnicity.

Ger
3 months ago

 In contrast, the USOPC announced in March that athletes participating at the Olympic Trials events in the U.S. will be free to partake in any racial or social justice related demonstrations.”
Does this mean they can loot and burn down small businesses?

Coach Macgyver
3 months ago

Remove “protest” from “protest and demonstrations.” To me, and I mean this will all do respect to every last creature thy breathes oxygen, it’s not a protest when you are on the podium or on the field. It’s a protest when you don’t take the field or podium.

Take Kap for example. He sat down. That’s a protest. Then he talked with his punt holder placer guy and went to taking a knee. That’s a demonstration…. that’s working together and that is what gets people to think and reconsider where he’s coming from.

I hope to see any and all athletes taking “a stand” for whatever the believe in no matter what form they choose, just as long as… Read more »

Corn Pop
Reply to  Coach Macgyver
3 months ago

So what if you don’t make the podium or even the field?

Last edited 3 months ago by Corn Pop
Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Corn Pop
3 months ago

Eat popcorn

Corn Pop
Reply to  Coach Macgyver
3 months ago

Yeah when they start protesting or whatever, that’s the time to head to the kiosk & get popcorn .There will be a long line of like minded spectators so by the time we get back to our seats , the emoting will be over .

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Corn Pop
3 months ago

Words cannot begin to express how much I don’t understand what you are talking about.

Anonymoose
Reply to  Coach Macgyver
3 months ago

“will all do respect” lmao
i doubt that auto correct did this all on its own

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Anonymoose
3 months ago

.

Captain Ahab
3 months ago

There is no affirmative action in the sport of competitive swimming. You either make the qualifying times or you don’t, you either get your finger tips and hands on the touchpads first/second or you don’t, anything else is unfair.

Yabo
Reply to  Captain Ahab
3 months ago

A) I don’t think you understand affirmative action B) no ones suggesting applying affirmative action to the sport of swimming

Captain Ahab
3 months ago

How do you make for past discriminations?

Answer: Open swimming facilities for people who are poor or do not have those opportunities. Offer additional personalized coach to people who do not make the cut off time. So that when there times come down they can be on the team. Maybe even stack the lanes with swim team with people who have similar times and reserving the far lanes for the slow individual who will improve. Again all of these solutions involve personal responsibility on every bodies part.