A group of Ukrainian runners do not want Russian or Belarusian competitors participating in the New York City Marathon this year.
The Ukrainian Running Club New York has argued that the alleged atrocities committed by Russia since it invaded Ukraine in February is justification for the prohibition
A petition calling for a ban on Russian and Belarusian runners has collected nearly 1,000 signatures.
According to The New York Post: The petition states if the marathon’s organizers, the New York Road Runners, allows Russian and Belarusian runners to compete, the organization would be “implicitly normalizing … diabolical acts” by Moscow and its allies.
“The banning of Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition is not meant to be seen as a punishment against them,” said the petition, started by the Ukrainian Running Club’s founder Anna Shpook. “This petition should be seen as means to support Ukraine and take a collective responsibility!
“Russian and Belarusian athletes can join us in solidarity by not participating in this year’s events, for what pride would they have in representing their countries when their armed forces are causing these horrors?”
The petition was started after the Ukrainian running club said in a Facebook post it failed to convince NYRR to enact a ban despite reaching out to them multiple times — and even as other races around the globe prohibited Russians from their events.
But NYRR leadership insists that while it stands with Ukraine against Russia’s actions, it refuses to discriminate against runners based on their nationality or country of birth.
“New York City is one of the most multicultural cities in the world where individuals of different nationalities live together. As part of our organization’s values, NYRR welcomes runners of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities – and runners who are participating as individuals will be allowed to run in NYRR races and events,” NYRR said in a statement to The Post.
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