Special Olympics Stands for Inclusion

In response to protests across the U.S. supporting social justice

Special Olympics stands in solidarity with the African American community, and other marginalized communities, in the U.S. and around the world in opposing systemic oppression, exclusion, and injustice.

Special Olympics was created in the U.S. in 1968, during a similarly intense national conversation around discrimination. For more than 50 years, we have been fighting for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) by using sports as a catalyst for systemic change.

The Revolution Is Inclusion, and as the leaders of this movement, we firmly oppose acts of discrimination and exclusion of all types. People with ID intersect across ethnicities, age, religion, gender identity and backgrounds. Special Olympics takes seriously our duty to elevate the voices of people with ID of all types, and as such we support peaceful, lawful protest. We condemn all forms of violence and intimidation.

“Special Olympics is a movement driven by a restless dissatisfaction with the status quo. Today, we are in solidarity with our athletes, leaders, and brothers and sisters of color who have suffered unjustly for centuries in the United States. We come to this moment of outrage with humility, recognizing our need to learn and change. In our founding summer of 1968, our leaders channeled decades of anger, pain and oppression into a radical experience of dignity and justice for people with intellectual disabilities through the power of sport. Sport brings people together. Sport teaches dignity. Sport reveals that everyone has gifts. Sport brings us relationships, health and power.

Today, the work continues: our athletes, families, volunteers, and allies around the world continue to work without rest for an inclusion revolution—a world where the dignity of every single one of our athletes is seen, respected, valued and welcomed. We renew our pledge to this vision of dignity and renew our commitment to changing ourselves so that we can identify and remove the stain of racism within and around us wherever and whenever it appears. We will never shrink from the work of transforming injustice into a world of justice and joy.”

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