A black female swimmer named Breckynn Willis at Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska easily won her 100-yard freestyle race and when she got out of the pool, was getting ready to accept her win. That didn’t end up being the case though as a referee disqualified her for her swimsuit showing too much of her buttocks, according to The Anchorage Daily News.
The Anchorage School District is now appealing this decision. Lauren Langford coaches swimming at Anchorage’s West High School and coached the athlete and her sisters when they were younger. She believes sexism and racism played roles in the disqualification. Willis is of mixed race and the ref possibly profiled her based on her curvier body type.
“All of these girls are all wearing suits that are cut the same way,” Langford said. “And the only girl who gets disqualified is a mixed-race girl with rounder, curvier features.”
None of the other girls were disqualified for wearing the same swimsuit. The school also issued these swimsuits, not the athletes. Annette Rohde was one of the officials that day and she told the Anchorage Daily News that another official said to her that Willis’ “butt cheeks” were showing. Just last year, a parent took a photo of Willis to prove that her swimsuit was inappropriate. The parents’ behavior was the thing that was actually inappropriate.
It’s sad that minors are sexualized like this along with the fact that a black swimmer was profiled. This ref just couldn’t let Willis have this huge win that she earned. The referee who disqualified her swimmer definitely needs to be investigate by the Anchorage School District.