The Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice has released its final recommendation on racism and discrimination, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) announced Thursday.
The recommendations, which are the organization’s fourth and final set, are aimed at promoting racial and social justice across the Olympic and Paralympic community while preventing acts of discrimination.
The fourth recommendation outlines how the USOPC and National Governing Bodies “can serve as collaborative leaders in eradicating systematic injustices, including structural racism, that leads to discrimination.”
“The fourth recommendation released today culminates the work of the Council that began more than a year ago – work that aims to better the Olympic and Paralympic movements,” said Moushaumi Robinson, 2004 Olympic gold medalist in track and field, and chair of the Council.
“We’ve seen actionable change in the past year, but this is just the beginning. We will continue to see change as the organizations that make up the movements look to create a better, more inclusive community for all.”
Fourth Set of Recommendations
The full detail of the Council’s fourth recommendation can be found here.
Acknowledge the Organization’s Role in Perpetuating Racial Inequities
The first step in creating antiracist environments devoid of discrimination is to acknowledge that the organizations that make up the Olympic and Paralympic community are expressive of structural racism and other social ills.
Counteract the Dehumanization and Exploitation of BIPOC and All Minoritized Members of the Olympic and Paralympic Community
Over the past year, Black Olympic and Paralympic athletes have shared with the Council powerful and brave stories about navigating structural racism and white supremacy within the USOPC and NGBs. At the heart of these stories was the perception that athletes are often reduced to the athletic value they bring to the organization rather than be seen as humans with various intersecting identities. One expression of structural racism is the dehumanization of members from minoritized groups, and an antiracist framework for change prompts us to counteract such racist tendencies.
Increase Protections for Minoritized Populations
Athletes’ safety and well-being (physical, psychological, and emotional) are of utmost importance when it comes to changing systems of oppression. Oftentimes, athletes from racially minoritized groups and other minoritized groups do not feel safe to call out discrimination. Additionally, over the past months physical threats have been disproportionately directed at minoritized Team USA athletes. Indeed, threats to the physical safety of athletes are often directed at members from minoritized groups. Therefore, a commitment to antiracism includes increased protections for members of minoritized groups.
Create Cultures of Accountability & Transparency
A lack of proper communication channels, accountability, and transparency often help reinforce racial inequities. A commitment to antiracism embraces a culture of accountability and transparency.
Provide Structural Support for Antiracist Efforts
To be effective in driving antiracist efforts and counteract discrimination across the Olympic and Paralympic movements, the USOPC and NGBs must provide structural support for initiatives targeting racial and social inequities.
Formed in September 2020, the Council was created to “create pathways for dialogue and to advocate for action and work that will implement impactful and meaningful change.”
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