European politicians co-sign the letter by MEP Samira Rafaela directed at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to end racism. This month, the wearing of Soul Cap, a swimming cap for natural Black hair, was banned at the Olympics. Earlier, two female sprinters from Namibia, Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, have been banned from running in the Olympic 400-meter dash due to their naturally high testosterone levels.
It is 2021 and we cannot, on the one hand, plead for more diversity in sports and on the other hand, have institutional structures and rules that exclude people of colour and Black women specifically. That is why Samira Rafaela took action, together with 11 other Members of the European Parliament who are all part of the Parliament’s Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI). They wrote a letter to the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, and President of World Athletics Sebastian Coe.
Samira Rafaela: “If the IOC does not take its responsibility to guarantee an inclusive and anti-racist sport, politicians should remind them. It is 2021, rules and legislation based on stereotypes must be changed. This is the only way to make sports, really, for everyone.”
You can read the letter here: ARDI letter to IOC