12-Year-Old Girl Wears BLM Swimsuit To Swim Meet, Almost Gets Disqualified

(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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A 12-year-old girl was almost disqualified from a swim meet after arriving in a Black Lives Matter swimsuit in Wisconsin Sunday.

The girl, Leidy Gellona, wore the swimsuit to protest the death of Amir Locke in a no-knock raid in Minneapolis on Feb. 2, her mother, Sarah Lyons, told CNN. (RELATED: Fox’s Bill Hemmer, BLM Leader Go Back And Forth On NYC Crime Spike)

In an interview with CNN, Gellona said she felt “disrespected” after a volunteer official at the swim meet informed her she would not be allowed to compete while wearing the suit.

Lyons said her daughter did not see the swimsuit as a political statement. “Read it as a person saying their life matters,” she told NBC News.

Lyons enlisted the help of the Duluth YMCA, who sponsored the event, after her daughter was told she could not compete while wearing the slogan. YMCA officials said the “official inappropriately barred [Gellona] from taking part in the meet.” She was then reinstated after missing one race. (RELATED: California And Washington Demand Black Lives Matter Stop Fundraising Over Issues With Financial Transparency)

“The Duluth YMCA is saddened that the student, their family, and teammates had to endure this unacceptable behavior,” a statement from the Duluth YMCA said, according to NBC. “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.”

The conflict even attracted the attention of NBA star LeBron James, who posted a message of support for Gellona on Instagram. “You’re a beautiful Black Queen,” James said on social media.