Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief executive David Grevemberg has claimed that protests are "part of" the multi-sport event after the link between Birmingham 2022 and British colonialism was criticised.
Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University Kehinde Andrews is among those to criticise the Games, which have been branded a "metaphor for empire".
"It should be a time to revisit this, because the Commonwealth is all about Britain trying to maintain some kind of symbolic link back to its imperial past," he said, as reported by Birmingham Live.
"The empire is still there in some ways.
"The Commonwealth is so problematic.
"The city has embraced it because it is money – which is quite a good metaphor because empire is one of the things that built Birmingham.
"We shouldn't be surprised the city embraced it."
In response, Grevemberg revealed the CGF had "regular conversations" about the connection with the British Empire.
"This is a conversation we have been having on a regular basis," he said.
"When you start to go back through the history, past industry and products, you start to go into a much deeper and darker past.
"Obviously the link with legacy of slavery and the remnants of colonialism."
Grevemberg also said he hoped Birmingham 2022 would encourage people to start having conversations, including through the means of protest, which were a "part" of the Commonwealth Games.
"It's important that we recognise people have the right to activism and to protest peacefully," he said.
"Protests are a part of society.
"It would be good to know what people don't agree with.
"How do we use Birmingham 2022 to amplify conversations which would otherwise not be happening?"
Grevemberg confirmed a truth and reconciliation plan is set to be implemented for Birmingham 2022, with a similar initiative in place for the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast in Australia.
The details of this are yet to be announced, however.
Such scrutiny has come amid worldwide anti-racism protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man killed after white police officer Derek Chauvin, now charged with second-degree murder, knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.
The CGF came out in support of athlete advocacy and activism as Black Lives Matter protests occurred across sport, with Grevemberg pledging that athletes who protest at Birmingham 2022 will not be banned or punished.
Birmingham 2022 has been criticised for a lack of diversity, however.
Just one of the 20 members of the Board of Directors and Executive Management is not white.