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Boston says bar on disparaging Olympics is 'boilerplate'

A rendering of a planned 60,000-seat temporary Olympic stadium in Widett Circle.Courtesy of Boston 2024

(State House News Service) -- A Boston City Hall spokeswoman on Wednesday downplayed an agreement that bars city employees from disparaging the city's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Earlier on Wednesday, the city provided reporters with a joinder agreement between Mayor Marty Walsh and the U.S. Olympic Committee that prohibits the city and its employees from any statements that "reflect unfavorably" on the bid or Olympic entities.

"Mayor Walsh is not looking to limit the free speech of his employees and, as residents of Boston, he fully supports them participating in the community process," said Boston Chief Communications Officer Laura Oggeri.

She added, "This was standard boilerplate language for the Joinder Agreement with the USOC that all applicant cities have historically signed. The Mayor looks forward to the first citywide community meeting that will be held next week."

A provision of the joinder directed city employees to promote the bid and Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

"The City, including its employees, officers and representatives, shall not make, publish or communicate to any Person, or communicate in any public forum, any comments or statements (written or oral) that reflect unfavorably upon, denigrate or disparage, or are detrimental to the reputation or statute of, the [International Olympic Committee], the [International Paralympic Committee], the USOC, the IOC Bid, the Bid Committee or the Olympic or Paralympic movement," the provision states.

"The City, including its employees, officers and representatives, shall each promote the Bid Committee, the USOC, the IOC Bid, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls and the Olympic and Paralympic movement in a positive manner," it continues.

 
 
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