Breckyn Willis is a high school student with aspirations for swimming, currently participating in the official team of her high school in Alaska.
The Dimond High School student had recently competed in multiple events at a swim competition, and while her performance was described as great, organizers took the controversial decision to disqualify her instead.
The officially stated reason was that the teen’s swimsuit did not fit properly. One of the race officials pointed out that her swimsuit has shifted its position, and she was revealing too much of her backside, a “wedgie” of some sort.
This apparently violated a rule of the event and led to the Willis’ disqualification.
The school district has issued a public statement regarding the situation, explaining that they were looking into suspending the rule.
At the same time, they did not want to name the official who had made the controversial call. Local media pointed to referee Jill Blackstone who seems to have issues with the entire family.
Blackstone made a target of Dreamer Kowatch, Willis’ younger sister who is also a competitive swimmer.
Blackstone publicly criticized Kowatch about her body and the fit of her swimsuit during the 2018-19 school year.
Kowatch has confessed to many friends and family members that the community has a problem with her “specific body, and they see it as not appropriate for competitive swimming.”
The school district has requested that Blackstone be decertified as an official. In any case, the disqualification has been officially dropped by the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA), and the young lady can resume her activities at this point.
West High School swim coach Lauren Langford defended the sisters and slammed officials by saying: “This is as good or better as I could have hoped for. What has been carried out on pool decks in Alaska over the last year is nothing short of racism, sexism, body-shaming, and child abuse.”
Langford also bashed a “rogue” team member’s parent who took photos of Willis’s butt in a swimsuit “without her knowledge or consent,” and plastered it on the Internet to make the point that “her attire is immoral.”
Many have described the situation as a severe overreaction by the race officials, and others have pointed out that this was a clear example of someone abusing their position of authority.
A few claimed not only was it was sexist but racist because Willis is biracial.
School officials have been trying to fight the situation and have made various attempts to engage their critics, but so far it seems that they have mostly been getting backlash as a result of the situation.
Many people, not just from the region but from across the whole country, have condemned their actions and have been calling for a deeper investigation.