A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright.
The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine.
The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide.
Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove it from its Web site after receiving advice that its legal defense against a potential copyright breach was “not strong.”
“More importantly, we are all in this coronavirus crisis together and clearly the cover offended some people in our host country, Japan,” Azhari said, voicing “sincere regret.”
Tokyo Games chief executive Toshiro Muto hailed the move, telling reporters: “We believe their response was appropriate and this is what we were hoping for as an outcome.”
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Tokyo Games chief spokesman Masa Takaya had blasted the emblem as “very disappointing.”
It was also an infringement of the copyright owned by the organizing committee, he said, revealing that top Olympic bosses had requested that the club remove the image.
“I also have to say this is insensitive to many people being affected by this damaging and painful situation,” Takaya said.
“It is especially insensitive to athletes who are willing to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Games next year and working very hard every day for next year’s Games,” he added.
Although the circulation of the magazine is tiny, this is not the first time that the Tokyo Games has become embroiled in a dispute over its logo.
It was forced to scrap its original emblem after claims of plagiarism from a Belgian designer, who said that it was “virtually identical” to his logo for a theater in Liege, Belgium.
Tokyo Games organizers are facing the giant task of reorganizing the Olympics for next year after International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to postpone the event by a year.
The postponement, announced on March 24, coincided with the beginning of a spike in coronavirus cases in Tokyo and throughout Japan.
After several weeks under a state of emergency in which residents have been urged to stay at home, Tokyo is now seeing only a handful of new cases each day.
In related news, Bach told the BBC that the Tokyo Games would have to be scrapped if the event cannot be held next year due to the pandemic.
Abe has said that the event cannot take place next year unless the coronavirus is contained and Bach said that he understood his position.
“Quite frankly, I have some understanding for this, because you can’t forever employ 3,000 or 5,000 people in an organizing committee,” Bach said. “You can’t every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide of all the major federations. You can’t have the athletes being in uncertainty.”
The IOC is committed to holding the Games next year, although it has to be prepared for various scenarios including quarantining athletes, he said.
“What could this mean for the life in an Olympic Village?” Bach said.
“All these different scenarios are under consideration and this is why I’m saying it’s a mammoth task, because there are so many different options that it’s not easy to address them [now],” he said.
“When we have a clear view on how the world will look on July 23, 2021, then [we will] take the appropriate decisions,” he added.
Tiger Woods on Sunday said that while his surgically repaired back might never be 10 out of 10 again, that would not stop him from being healthy and ready to go when the PGA Tour restarts. The 44-year-old said that he has been able to use the down time during the COVID-19 pandemic to get himself in shape for an expected condensed golf season. “It is going to be interesting,” Woods said at a four-man charity golf tournament in Florida. “I am used to trying to peak for majors in April, May, June and July, forever. Now this has changed everything. It
ON THE MOON: After achieving an against-the-odds restart, Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys says crowds should return to the stands by July 1 Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) has battled player scandals, top-level resignations and dire financial revelations during the COVID-19 shutdown, but against the odds, it returns this week to bring relief to team owners and sports-starved fans. The fledgling season had seen two rounds of matches when it was suspended on March 24 and is to have a different feel when it resumes with the Brisbane Broncos hosting the Parramatta Eels behind closed doors tomorrow. An “NRL island” off the Queensland coast, where all 16 teams would be kept in isolation, had been considered, but Australia’s success in containing the coronavirus has instead
Free agent infielder Jung-ho Kang, who played four of the past five years for the Pittsburgh Pirates, on Monday received a one-year suspension from the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) in connection with three past arrests on suspicion of drunk driving. The KBO also demanded that Kang, 33, perform 300 hours of community service. Both punishments would begin if and when he signs a contract with a Korean team. After the ruling was announced, Kang said in a statement that he is working to become a better person. “Over time, I came to realize just how important baseball is to me,” Kang said. “I took
Brad Keselowski early on Monday beat Jimmie Johnson in the overtime finish of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Keselowski added to his Southern 500, Bristol night race and Brickyard 400 wins, while Johnson, who had a shot at snapping his three-year losing streak, instead extended it to 102 consecutive races. Then, Johnson’s car failed the after-race inspection and NASCAR threw out his runner-up finish. All that action took place in the the final seven laps of the longest race in NASCAR history. Chase Elliott was cruising toward victory with two laps remaining in the 600 when a caution