It’s impossible to remove politics from sports. Instead, we must foster a culture of free expression.
By all means, allow free speech. But don't be surprised when you lose more than half of your audience. Just because you CAN speak, does not mean you SHOULD.
There's a reason why one does not talk about politics, sex, and religion in polite conversation: because it's divisive, and creates bad feelings among folks that have other things in common. These norms became popular because it allowed for a level of social lubrication between folks that would otherwise be able to engage and cooperate on other matters. Now that we've sorted ourselves into comfortable political circules (except for people like, me, who despise both polemic tribes), I guess the default is to virtue signal one's way into constant acceptance within their peer group.
This authoritarian-like push to make people in free countries have to disclose their political leanings to be able to slot them into convenient tribes is insane. By all means, let's have free speech...but let's INCREASE the social costs of blathering on about one's politics either to be an opportunist-activist, or a virtue signaling toady. It's bad for everybody.
Politics needs to be pushed back into the shadows where it belongs.
No, it's not possible to eradicate politics from sports. But self policing is possible. Politics in sports is like litter. Each piece of political debris makes it ugly for for the rest of us. Political expression in sports is just one more opportunity for virtue signaling which, out of respect for those of us who want sports to be a refuge, could better - and to better effect- done elsewhere, out of the camera's eye.
I'm generally on the side of more expansive free speech, but I completely disagree. Althetes are free to take political stands with their own robust platforms on their own plentiful time. But if I'm tuning into a game I don't want to be assailed with anyone's politics, whether I agree with them or not. Political peacocking at the Olympics is especically distasteful and antithetical to everything the Olympics are supposed to stand for.
Just don't allow any of it on the playing field.
The burning question for me is: Why, oh why do people care about adults playing children’s games?