An official was removed from a swim meet on Sunday after they attempted to disqualify a 12-year-old student for wearing a Black Lives Matter swimsuit, the Duluth YMCA said.
The YMCA Whalers were hosting a swim meet in the pool at Superior High School in Superior, Wisconsin, when an independent volunteer official "inappropriately barred a student-athlete from taking part in the meet due to their Black Lives Matter swimsuit," the Duluth YMCA said.
The Duluth Branch of the NAACP said the 12-year-old student, identified as Leidy, put Black Lives Matter on her swimsuit and was told she would be disqualified if she didn't change. The official said her swimsuit "went against USA Swimming's policy of no political language," the Duluth YMCA said.
The NAACP called on people to head to the pool to show their support. And administrators with the YMCA arrived at the pool to override the Black swimmer's disqualification and remove the official.
The student was then able to compete.
"We asked that the official be removed and they were. Keep bringing home the Ws, Leidy," the Duluth Branch of the NAACP said.
The Duluth YMCA said it is "saddened" the student, her family and team had to endure "this unacceptable behavior."
"The Duluth YMCA will continue our ongoing commitment to train all staff and volunteers on diversity, equity, and inclusion," the organization said. "The Duluth Area Family YMCA is committed to being an anti-racist organization and stands with BIPOC communities throughout the Northland and throughout our country.
"We know that Black Lives Matter and we will continue to work to educate ourselves, to stand against inequality, and to strive to be active allies in the ongoing fight for diversity, equity, and inclusion," it added.
Meanwhile, the Duluth YMCA said it will work to hold independent officials accountable for further education to address systemic racism.
The official who was removed on Sunday is not part of the Duluth YMCA and has been banned from any further events that the Duluth YMCA hosts.