A High School Wrestler Stands by His Beliefs

High school wrestler forfeits state tournament immediately when he sees who opponent is

In 2018, Brendan Johnston, a former high school wrestler from Colorado, made a bold decision that would end his career in the sport. He forfeited two state tournament matches against female opponents, citing his religious and personal beliefs as the reasons for his refusal.

The issue of pitting male and female athletes against each other in physical competition is a topic that is often debated. Many people believe that it is unfair to have men and women compete directly, considering the biological and physical differences between the sexes.

Brendan, then 18 years old and a senior at the Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, felt uncomfortable with the idea of wrestling against Jaslynn Gallegos from Skyview High. He also chose not to fight Angel Rios from Valley High in his third-round consolation match. Speaking about his decision, Brendan, who is a Christian, explained his discomfort: “It’s so physical, physically close. I don’t think that’s really appropriate with a young lady.” He also emphasized his belief in the equality of men and women, stating that although they are different, they hold equal value.

As a result of Brendan’s decision, he placed sixth in the tournament, while Jaslynn and Angel placed fourth and fifth respectively. Jaslynn expressed her disappointment with Brendan’s choice, but also respected his decision. She has always seen herself as a wrestler, not just a girl wrestler, and believes in proving her abilities on the mat.

Brendan’s story raises the question: What do you think about his decision to refuse to wrestle a female? Let us know in the comments section below