Dressed in a blue suit and speaking in a light drizzle, Sebastian Coe stood at the edge of the track at Tokyo’s new National Stadium on Thursday and repeated his support for the right of athletes to advocate for social or racial justice at next year’s postponed Olympics.

Coe spoke out in direct opposition to Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which says “no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”

“I’ve been very clear that if an athlete chooses to take the knee on a podium then I’m supportive of that,” Coe said, giving a boost to Black Lives Matter protests and other social- and racial-justice movements that are determined to use Tokyo as a stage.

READ: Sebastian Coe suggests Tokyo as future World Championships host city

Coe is not just any voice. He’s an International Olympic Committee…

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