When hammer thrower Gwen Berry decided to protest the national anthem at an Olympic trials event last month, she raised the prospect that athletes will try to use the Tokyo Olympics to disparage their own nation.
If they do so, they will get precious little support at home.
The latest I&I/TIPP poll finds that the public overwhelmingly rejects athletes showing disrespect for the American flag at international games.
The poll found that 79% of the public says that it’s important “for professional athletes to publicly respect the American flag on the international level.” Sixty percent said it was “very important.”
Just 16% think it’s not important.
This sentiment was true across the board, with majorities saying it was important for athletes to show respect for the flag at international events.
That is, except for those aged 18-24. Just 49% of this age group said respect for the flag was important, while 39% said it’s not important to them. Last week’s I&I/TIPP poll report showed this same age group was least likely to say they are proud to be an American: just 36% said they are “very” or “extremely” proud of their nationality.
By party breakdown, 94% of Republicans say showing respect is important, compared with 73% of Democrats. Support for showing respect increases with education as well – going from 73% of those with high school education to 81% of those with some college, and 83% of college graduates. Other breakdowns are shown in the nearby table.
At the June trials, while the other two hammer throw winners stood with hands over hearts looking at the flag, Berry looked away and put a protest t-shirt over her head.
She claimed that she thought “it was a setup,” when the anthem was played when the third-place finisher took the stand along with the first and second-place hammer throw winners. “They had enough opportunities to play the national anthem before we got up there,” she complained.
The event planner said the anthem was played as scheduled. “We didn’t wait until the athletes were on the podium for the hammer throw awards. The national anthem is played every day according to a previously published schedule,” a spokesperson said.
In any case, the timing wasn’t the issue. Berry had been put on probation for raising her fist during the Pan-American Games in Peru in August 2019.
So, will American athletes use the 2021Olymics – which were delayed a year because of COVID – to mount similar protests?
Some are already promising to turn the Olympics into a stage for their protests.
U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team member Megan Rapinoe promised last year that Olympic athletes “will not be silenced,” regardless of the IOC’s rule.
The International Olympic Committee has a standing rule banning such protests. Rule 50 bars “political, religious, or racial propaganda” demonstrations.
Whether the rule gets enforced is another question.
USA Today reports that:
The IOC has said incidents of athletes violating the rule will be evaluated by their home country’s national Olympic committee, along with their sport's international federation and the IOC. Discipline will be meted out on a case-by-case basis, according to guidelines outlined by the IOC’s Athletes Commission.
Discipline will be meted out on a case-by-case basis, according to guidelines outlined by the IOC’s Athletes Commission.
But the U.S. committee already allows U.S. athletes to protest at Team USA trials.
Either way, the U.S. is likely to be the only country in the world where athletes use the international Olympics to attack the nation that sent them there.
The I&I/TIPP poll was conducted by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence from June 30 through July 2 and includes responses from 1,424 adults, giving it a margin of error of +/- 2.8 points. This marks the first in a weekly collaborative effort between Issues & Insights and TIPP to provide polling results on a wide range of questions selected by I&I editors.
While North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for unity of its nationals to overcome the difficulties related to the pandemic by building a self-reliant economy, he may be in a serious dilemma as to whether to end the border blockage.
North Korea claims no infection cases have been found at home, but it has cut off land traffic to and from its neighbors since early last year amid worries that the virus, first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, could enter the country.
With Kim so far pledging to strengthen anti-epidemic measures, North Korea is unlikely to restart trade with China in the near future, apparently disappointing its citizens, many of whom want to acquire provisions and vaccines, the sources said.
If Kim fails to cope well with the situation, frustration would be pent-up among nationals, which, in the worst-case scenario, "could jeopardize" his family's dynasty that has continued since North Korea was established in 1948, one of them said.
North Korea was expected to receive 1.7 million doses of vaccine produced by Britain's AstraZeneca Plc by the end of May, but the plan has been postponed to later this year as the nation has been unwilling to follow the COVAX program's instructions.
Environmental non-governmental organizations, Europe, Ukraine, and the United States are all united in their opposition to a project that is as much geopolitical as it is economic.
Russia and Germany want to complete the second of two gas pipelines linking the two countries as soon as possible, but others are doing all they can to stop it from happening.
Many of those who see Vladimir Putin's Russia as an opponent of European stability and unity argue that the pipeline runs directly counter to the continent's attempts to contain him.
Others question whether making it easier and cheaper to transport Russian gas to Europe is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions.
But Nord Stream 2's Russian and German backers insist that it is a purely commercial project. They are determined to finish the job and resumed work this year.
If it is completed, what to do with the pipeline could prove the first big headache for the next German government. Polls suggest that September's elections will yield significant gains for the Green Party, which has opposed the project and whose supporters expect it to deliver on that.
Beijing to take "necessary measures" to respond to Washington blacklisting Chinese companies over Uighur treatment.
No details were given, but China has denied allegations of arbitrary detention and forced labor in the far western region of Xinjiang and increasingly responded to sanctions against companies and officials with its own bans on visas and financial links.
The U.S. Commerce Department said that the electronics and technology firms and other businesses helped enable "Beijing's campaign of repression, mass detention and high-technology surveillance" against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
The penalties prohibit Americans from selling equipment or other goods to the firms.
The U.S. has stepped up financial and trade penalties over China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, along with its crackdown on democracy in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong.
Ukraine is one of the main producers of honey in Europe. Around 1.5 percent of Ukraine's population is engaged in various forms of beekeeping, according to the United Nations.
In homes fit for a Queen, their hives are made in trees from a tradition dating back to medieval times. The deliciously sweet product harvested from wild bees is believed to have a special taste.
It is a craft handed down from generation to generation by those who believe wild bees are healthier and their honey tastes different.
Experts say traditional beekeeping, where a colony can be better controlled and monitored, is vital.
Two years ago, it was noted that bee populations were declining due to the use of pesticides, habitat destruction, and climate change.
With flowers and food crops depending on pollination, a threat to bees is a threat to global food security and nutrition.
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