Teen Swimmer Who Was Disqualified For Suit Showing ‘Too Much Buttocks’ Has Win Reinstated
After a 17-year-old swimmer was disqualified due to her bathing suit ‘showing too much buttocks’, the following outcry has seen the decision overturned.
Breckynn Willis, a Dimond High School student from Anchorage, Alaska, was wearing her standard, school-issued swimsuit when she emerged victorious from a 100-meter freestyle event.
However, her win was expunged after ‘a wardrobe violation’.
Have a look at the news report of Willis’ triumph:
It’s safe to say, the decision sparked fury from all corners. Coaches branded the decision as ‘sexist’, citing the teen’s slightly curvier physique and the fact her competitors and friends were wearing the exact same swimsuit.
As the outrage mounted up, Willis’ coach, DeWayne Ingram, and team launched an appeal that forced Anchorage School District to open an investigation into the disqualification.
Thankfully, the district urged the Alaska School Activities Association to reinstate her win after finding Willis was discriminated for how the swimsuit fitted her body.
Following the appeal and investigation, the association revealed all scores for Willis and the Dimond High School following her win would be restored.
They have dubbed the ordeal as a misapplication of the rule, adding that the official who made the decision to ban Willis should have raised any violations to her coach prior to the start of the event.
The school district aren’t entirely satisfied, however, and have called for the official to be de-certified and the coverage rule to be suspended and revised.
As reported by the MailOnline, the Anchorage School District said:
The Anchorage School District has concluded that our swimmer was targeted based solely on how a standard, school-issued uniform happened to fit the shape of her body.
We cannot tolerate discrimination of any kind and certainly not based on body shape. This disqualification was heavy-handed and unnecessary.
Funnily enough, Willis had wore the same swimsuit at three prior meets this season – and nobody batted an eyelid.
However, the same official that made the decision to ban the teen previously hit out at her sister Dreamer Kowatch and the fit of her swimsuit during the 2018-19 school year.
According to another official at the event, the referee claimed she could see ‘butt cheek touching butt cheek’ on Willis’ uniform.
Prior to the decision being reversed, the district said:
The disqualification appears to stem from a difference of opinion in the interpretation of the rules governing high school swim uniforms.
The Dimond swim team has purchased approved, team suits for every swimmer that meet the requirements put forth by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSH).
The disqualified athlete was wearing the approved, school-issued suit during the race. In the first three meets this year, the Dimond swim team has had no disqualifications related to the wear of the swim uniform.
Lauren Langford, who coaches the West High School swim team, wrote a scathing letter in response to the controversy, saying: ‘The rest of her team was wearing the same uniform, and she was the only one disqualified.’
As per The Washington Post, Langford said:
It is my opinion that she has been targeted and singled out over the course of the last year. It comes down in my opinion to the race thing. It was so targeted. It was so intentional, and so individual.
All of these girls are all wearing suits that are cut the same way. And the only girl who gets disqualified is a mixed-race girl with rounder, curvier features.
I was filled with so much anguish over the way these young girls have been forced to suffer.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) issued new guidelines in August that mean an athlete whose uniform doesn’t meet the rules could be disqualified.
The NFHS’ Executive Director Karissa Niehoff says there’s a ‘growing trend’ of athletes exposing their buttocks.
NFHS Executive Director Karissa Niehoff wrote in August:
There is a growing trend in high school swimming and diving of athletes wearing training and competitive suits in a manner that contradicts with the intention of their original design and manufacture.
Specifically, suits are being worn in such a way as to expose the athlete’s buttocks. This issue is not gender-specific and is occurring in various states across the country.
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