Special Olympics Stands for Inclusion
In response to protests across the U.S. supporting social justice for African Americans
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, etc. 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,” said Tim Shriver, Chairman of the Board of Special Olympics. “In our founding summer of 1968, our leaders channeled decades of anger, pain and oppression into a radical experience of dignity. Through the power of sport, a sense of belonging for people with intellectual disabilities grew. Sport brings people together. Sport teaches dignity. Sport reveals that everyone has gifts. Sport brings us relationships, health and power. Our athletes around the world continue to work without rest to bring an inclusion revolution to light. A revolution where everyone’s dignity is seen, respected, valued and welcomed. We renew our pledge to this vision of dignity. We are in solidarity with our leaders and brothers and sisters of color who have suffered unjustly for centuries in the United States. We come with humility, recognizing our need to learn and change. We will never shrink from the work of transforming injustice into a world of justice and joy.”