Today, the world of professional sport is changing rapidly. This is influenced by ongoing socio-political events, changes in the approach to governance by international sports organisations, and a strong demand for changes in the working conditions from professional athletes.
In this analysis for April-June 2023, we have examined the most significant events and news in sport through the lens of international human rights standards.
The issue of human rights violations has long been a part of Belarusian sport — ranging from restrictions on freedom of speech to poor working conditions and fixed games. However, in 2023, the international sports community has focused on another problem — the admission or non-admission of Belarusian and Russian athletes to international competitions, including the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.
In the lead-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the sports community actively discussed the issues of injuries, and questions of unequal pay were raised not only in the football community but also in tennis and basketball. At the same time, we have shared some examples of collaborations aimed at overcoming gender inequality.
June is annually recognised as Pride Month, so many sports stakeholders organise special campaigns involving professional athletes. In our analysis, we briefly shared the experiences of individuals working in professional sports who have come out, and how this affects the modern sports world and their place in it.
Finally, we have paid attention to the issue of racism in football, which has had a significant impact on the reputation of Spain’s La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation. “The Vinicius Case” is one of the most prominent scandals of 2023, discussed at the highest levels of governments and international organisations.
We also touched upon the topic of protecting professional athletes in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the safety of athletes and fans during sports events.