View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Duluth Branch NAACP (@duluthnaacp)



At a Wisconsin swim meet, a Black swimmer, Leidy Gellona, was wearing a homemade swimsuit that nearly caused her to be disqualified. Leidy and her mother, Sarah, bought iron on letters and put “Black Lives Matter,” on the swimsuit. She wanted to wear this swimsuit after hearing about Amir Locke’s death due to being fatally shot by the Minneapolis police. One of the volunteer officials at the meet was not too fond of Gellona’s swimsuit and said she could not compete if she was going to wear that. Leidy didn’t understand why she couldn’t wear the swimsuit and immediately felt bad and disrespected. Shortly after, Sarah called the head of the Duluth NAACP to help with the situation. The official has now been banned from future swim meets hosted by the Duluth YMCA and made a statement about changes in the swim community on their website. 

The media has continued to shine a light on the racism that takes place in sports. I think that someone wearing a swimsuit that has Black Lives Matter printed on it should not be a political issue. It is a simple statement, that somebody’s life matters. In order for Black voices to be heard, they have to do things that will get people’s attention. Leidy did just that by wearing her swimsuit in honor of Amir Locke. Many sports teams and athletes have shown support and love to those who lost their lives whether that being George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the list goes on. A girl being confident in her skin and wearing a swimsuit that represents her life and others, should not result in disqualification of a competition.