sport news Sebastian Coe backs athletes wanting to take a knee on the medal podium

'You cannot separate sport from the social and cultural processes': World Athletics chief and double Olympic champion Sebastian Coe backs athletes wanting to take a knee on the podium with Olympics chiefs still against political protests World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe has backed athletes wanting to take a knee Sports stars across the globe have used the gesture to protest against racism Olympic charter bans demonstration or 'political, religious or racial propaganda' Coe says it's impossible to 'separate sport from the social and cultural processes

By Max Winters For Mailonline

Published: 11:55 BST, 18 September 2020 | Updated: 11:55 BST, 18 September 2020

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World Athletics president and double Olympic champion Sebastian Coe has backed any athlete wishing to take a knee on the medal podium after the International Olympic Committee refused to budge on the matter.

Athletes in various sports have been using the gesture to protest against racism and police brutality against black people following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police officers back in May. 

Premier League players still take the knee at kick-off of matches and Lewis Hamilton continues to protest with the gesture at Formula One races.

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe has backed athletes wishing to take a knee on the podium

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe has backed athletes wishing to take a knee on the podium

The IOC, led by president Thomas Bach, said 'kneeling' or 'hand gestures' at medal ceremonies were banned and could lead to disciplinary action

The IOC, led by president Thomas Bach, said 'kneeling' or 'hand gestures' at medal ceremonies were banned and could lead to disciplinary action

Tommie Smith (C) and John Carlos (R) protest with the Black Power salute at the 1968 Games

Tommie Smith (C) and John Carlos (R) protest with the Black Power salute at the 1968 Games

But rule 50 of the Olympic charter states that 'no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas'.

Meanwhile, in January, the IOC also clarified that 'kneeling' or 'hand gestures' at medal ceremonies were banned and could lead to disciplinary action.

But during an interview with The Times, Coe, an IOC member, insisted he has 'no problem' with athletes taking the knee on the medal podium.

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