Don't Break The Game
The core message of “Don’t Break the Game” is that human rights belong at the heart of sports.
“DON’T BREAK THE GAME” (Älä riko urheilua) is a campaign launched by The Finnish League for Human Rights (Ihmisoikeusliitto) highlighting human rights issues in sports. The campaign began in November 2021 and is still ongoing. The core message of “Don’t Break the Game” is that human rights belong at the heart of sports. The primary target is athletes, coaches, fans, parents, and especially people and actors in positions of power and leadership within sport.
The campaign calls for:
- equal opportunities for people with disabilities
- protection of children’s rights
- gender equality
- systematic action against racism, violence, and harassment
- an end to the discrimination of sexual and gender minorities
- human rights guidelines and their implementation in sports international governing bodies
A group of eight well-known athletes were invited to be spokespeople for the campaign: Tim Sparv, Kiira Korpi, Shawn Huff, Amanda Kotaja, Awak Kuier, Senni Salminen, Linda Sällström, and Aapeli Räsänen. Among them are national team captains, national record holders, medalists in World and European championships and the Paralympic Games.
The athletes have raised human rights issues in media interviews and in social media. They have also been invited to draft and sign joint public statements with Ihmisoikeusliitto on different human rights themes. While their activism was vital to attracting attention to the campaign, advocating for human rights should not fall on athletes’ shoulders. It is the responsibility of authorities and sport’s governing bodies to guarantee that human rights are protected at all levels of sports.
The campaign is supported by sports bodies such as the Finnish Olympic Committee, the Finnish Paralympic Committee, and the Finnish Coaches Association. The entire list of supporting bodies includes some 200 NGO’s, national sports federations and clubs. Human rights education has also been provided to the participating organizations.