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Drama between Dustin Lance Black and British Swimming, explained

Drama between Dustin Lance Black and British Swimming, explained

Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley

Writer Dustin Lance Black is accusing organization British Swimming of lying and corruption after he and his son could not watch husband Tom Daley participate in a diving competition.

In the latest development, British Swimming released a statement expressing their disappointment in Black’s response.

The drama began over the weekend when Black tweeted organizers removed him and son Robbie from a diving event. He described the organizers as ‘cruel’ and ‘thoughtless’.

He specifically wrote the organizers ‘have created a situation that is neither safe nor welcoming for our family’.

Dustin Lance Black tweets about British Swimming
Black tweets about British Swimming | Photo: Twitter @DLanceBlack

How it all started

Black continued tweeting about his grievances with the organization.

He wrote British Swimming ‘succeeded in creating a toxic environment for our family at their events so we can’t be there in person’. In another tweet, he also wrote the organization needs to stop ‘treating families… as obstacles’.

Lance accuses British Swimming of 'creating a toxic environment'
Lance accuses British Swimming of ‘creating a toxic environment’ | Photo: Twitter @DLanceBlack
Another tweet about British Swimming
Another tweet about British Swimming | Photo: Twitter @DLanceBlack

Details of the conflict between Black and British Swimming, and why Black, ultimately, was not allowed to watch Daley compete, remains unknown.

British Swimming released statements about it having to do with Black bringing son Robbie in with a pram (or stroller).

Black, however, released numerous tweets denying he brought a pram inside the event. He called the organization’s statements PR to cover up ‘far deeper trespasses’ and a ‘whopper of misrepresentation’.

Dustin Lance Black denies the stories about a pram
Black denies the stories about a pram | Photo: Twitter @DLanceBlack
Dustin Lance Black continues to deny
Black continues to deny | Photo: Twitter @DLanceBlack

He also re-tweeted a tweet by a separate person saying they witnessed Robbie sitting on Black’s lap, not in a pram.

What’s the latest?

Daley was competing in the Diving World Series in London on Sunday (19 May). He ended up winning gold with Grace Reid in the mixed synchro competition.

On Monday (20 May), Black continued tweeting about the conflict.

He wrote he and British Swimming agreed to solve the disagreement in private before the organization released a statement. He further called the organization ‘corrupt’.

Later, he also re-tweeted a thread of someone’s bad experience volunteering with British Swimming.

‘British Swimming is extremely disappointed that Tom’s husband felt that he couldn’t be at the London Aquatics Centre to support Tom,’ the group said in a statement to BBC Sport.

The statement continued, reiterating the disagreement stemmed from the presence of a pram.

‘The London Aquatics Centre’s policy is not to allow buggies on to the spectator concourse for health and safety reasons and British Swimming supported this policy to ensure the safety of everyone attending this exciting event.’

In concluding the statement, the organization put forth their support of families, contrasting what Black tweeted earlier.

‘British Swimming recognises the fundamental part that families play in supporting all of the athletes and offered to put measures in place to store the buggy during the event so that Tom’s family could be present. We were pleased to see some of Tom’s family there last night celebrating his success.’

Black doesn’t seem to be letting the row affect him too greatly, tweeting out about Daley’s birthday this morning.

See also

Dustin Lance Black reflects on fatherhood in heartfelt video

Diver Tom Daley posts pics of baby’s first “swim”

David Burtka on adjusting to life with kids: ‘You have to be open to change’