A Colorado high school wrestler pulled out of a state wrestling match so he would not have to wrestle a girl.
Brendan Johnston, a senior at Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado removed himself from the wrestling competition after learning that he would be facing a female, and this wasn’t the first time. Johnston forfeited a match his junior year for the same reasons.
Fox News reports that Johnston was up against “Jaslynn Gallegos, a senior at Skyview High in the first round of the tournament on Thursday, Feb. 21,” which he forfeited. But, happening again, “a few days later on Saturday, Feb. 23, he forfeited the match against Angel Rios, a junior at Valley High, in the third-round consolation match, ending his high school wrestling career.”
Fighting this lose-lose situation, Johnston explained that he had many reasons for not wanting to wrestle against the opposite sex.
In an interview with KDVR Johnston said, “It’s so physical… physically close. I don’t think that’s really appropriate with a young lady. It’s also very aggressive and I’m not really, I guess, comfortable with that.”
Keeping a good relationship between his female competitors, Johnston said, “I think it’s possible to forfeit while still respecting them as athletes and competitors. I really don’t want to disrespect the hard work these ladies have put in. They’ve done a lot of that too. Some people think by forfeiting I’m disrespecting them. That’s not my intention at all.”
Having the utmost respect for females, Johnston told the Denver Post why he decided to forfeit, “And I guess the physical aggression, too. I don’t want to treat a young lady like that on the mat. Or off the mat. And not to disrespect the heart or the effort that she’s put in. That’s not what I want to do, either.”
Johnston handled the situation maturely and respectfully. Feeling that he could not disrespect women by putting them in physical harm, he decided it best to pull out of the match. It’s a shame he had to end his high school athletic career because there are no high school female wrestling teams in Colorado, so females are allowed to be a part of male teams.
If wrestling in Colorado is such a big sport for females, it stands to reason that there would be a female league at this point – instead of making males alter their training and performance to appease a small group of girls.
Johnston remained in high spirits about not finishing out his high school wresting career, “Wrestling is something we do, it’s not who we are. And there are more important things to me than my wrestling. And I’m willing to have those priorities.”
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