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Dina Asher-Smith hints she could defy ban on podium protests at Tokyo Olympics

Dina Asher-Smith chose the anniversary of George Floyd’s death to hint that she could defy the ban on Olympic podium protests in Tokyo.

Three days after saying she didn’t want to “incite anything” when asked about the IOC’s controversial ruling, Britain’s sprint star issued a powerful statement.

In it she urged people to “keep pushing – using our voices, dismantling barriers, destroying stereotypes”.

Asher-Smith said: “George Floyd was murdered a year ago today. Thankfully [Derek] Chauvin was found guilty [of Floyd’s murder]. Hopefully this marks a turning point for racial justice and holding perpetrators of police brutality accountable. Time will tell.

“But here, Black people are still being gaslit with the Sewell Report implying that institutional racism doesn’t even exist, despite our own experiences directly contradicting that.

Adam Gemili and Asher-Smith

“Footballers are still being racially abused on social media. And we are banned by the IOC from even being able to express our hurt, frustration and outrage at racism, racist violence and racial inequality.”

Asher-Smith’s outburst comes a week after team mate Adam Gemili warned that “all hell would break loose” if Olympic chiefs try to ban an athlete from staging a podium protest in Tokyo.

She continued: “Whilst it’s been good to see so many more people become engaged and have their eyes opened to inequalities that we have, there is clearly still a way to go.

Asher-Smith with her coach John Blackie at BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards
Asher-Smith with her coach John Blackie at BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards

“We need to keep pushing – using our voices, dismantling barriers, destroying stereotypes, taking up space and continuing to be our most vibrant, unapologetic selves at all times.”

Asher-Smith signed off her statement with the hashtag Black Lives Matter.




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