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A 12-year-old swimmer was nearly disqualified from a Wisconsin meet for wearing a Black Lives Matter swimsuit.  

Sarah Lyons said her daughter Leidy Gallona wore the swimsuit in the wake of Amir Locke’s death and because the Black Lives Matter movement is important to her as a woman of color.   

According to the Duluth Area Family YMCA, which sponsored the event Sunday at Superior High School, the bathing suit went against USA Swimming’s policy that bans political language.

Leidy would have been allowed to change into another suit but her disqualification was soon reversed by the Duluth Area Family YMCA, which sponsored the event. 

‘An independent volunteer official inappropriately barred a student athlete from taking part in the meet, due to their “Black Lives Matter” swimsuit, stating that it “went against USA Swimming’s policy of no political language,”‘ the local YMCA said. 

A post showing Leidy in her statement swimsuit has since gone viral with celebrities such as LeBron James calling to encourage the young athlete and posting on his Instagram Stories in support.

Leidy Lyons (pictured) was temporarily disqualified from a swim meet for wearing a Black Lives Matter swim suit to a race on Sunday

Leidy Lyons (pictured) was temporarily disqualified from a swim meet for wearing a Black Lives Matter swim suit to a race on Sunday

Leidy Lyons (pictured) was temporarily disqualified from a swim meet for wearing a Black Lives Matter swim suit to a race on Sunday

Sarah Lyons (left) called the Duluth NAACP to help defend her daughter's political stance

Sarah Lyons (left) called the Duluth NAACP to help defend her daughter's political stance

Sarah Lyons (left) called the Duluth NAACP to help defend her daughter’s political stance 

Leidy was quickly allowed back into the competition and the volunteer race official who temporarily barred her was banned

Leidy was quickly allowed back into the competition and the volunteer race official who temporarily barred her was banned

Leidy was quickly allowed back into the competition and the volunteer race official who temporarily barred her was banned 

Lebron James shared a message of encouragement on his Instagram

Lebron James shared a message of encouragement on his Instagram

Lebron James shared a message of encouragement on his Instagram 

‘She is very passionate about social justice. She has been through a lot already at a young age. It’s a big part of her, which I think is wild at 12,’ Lyons told KBJR.  

When a race official told the young girl she would be disqualified if she did not change, Leidy said: ‘Mom, I’m not taking the suit off.’

Her mother replied: ‘You go girl.’ Then swimmer’s parents called the Duluth NAACP. 

‘This is a humanitarian issue. It’s not political. It’s human. It’s humanizing something,’ said Classie Dudley, president of the NAACP’s Duluth Branch.

Duluth YMCA leaders quickly overturned Leidy’s disqualification and banned the volunteer race official who disqualified the young athlete.  

‘It’s important that when you see something, you have to say something,’ Dudley said. ‘That same energy that the NAACP brought when we showed up to support Leidy is the same energy that the community should have had in that moment.’ 

The Duluth NAACP noted who and how people stood up for the determined athlete. 

‘There were 500 people in that room, and nobody noticed what was going on,’ said Lyons. 

‘It is a really good example of what is actual allyship and what is performative allyship in those moments when people need you to stand up even if it’s not in your best interest.’ 

‘The more we have those conversations, the more we can come together and unite and understand how to be a community,’ said Dudley. 

The Duluth YMCA released a statement standing by Leidy and her position. 

‘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.’ 

The Duluth YMCA and USA Swim did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com. 

Leidy’s political stance comes after Amir Locke, a black man, was shot and killed while sleeping when police used a no-knock warrant. 

Locke’s death has sparked protests, with people since turning out rallies and the mayor initiating an immediate re-examination of no-knock arrest warrants. 

St. Paul police had obtained search warrants as part of their investigation into Elder’s death, including a warrant for the downtown Minneapolis apartment where Locke’s family said he had been staying.

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