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

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There’s a great deal of respect to be earned by standing by your beliefs or making sacrifices for your faith.

Brendan Johnston, a former high school wrestler from Colorado, exemplifies this. In 2018, he made headlines by forfeiting two state tournament matches that were set against female opponents.

By doing so, he effectively ended his high school wrestling career, citing his religious and personal beliefs as the reasons for his decision.

The debate over men competing against women in physical sports is more prominent today than ever. Many argue that it’s unfair to pit men against women due to significant biological differences, creating an uneven playing field.

In 2018, 18-year-old Brendan Johnston took a firm stand against wrestling Jaslynn Gallegos of Skyview High in the first round of a state tournament. A senior at the Classical Academy in Colorado Springs at the time, Brendan also chose not to compete against Angel Rios from Valley High in his third-round consolation match.

Brendan’s actions sparked discussions on gender, sportsmanship, and personal conviction, earning him both criticism and admiration.

Credit / YouTube – Fox31

Speaking to KDVR, Brendan, a devout Christian, explained his decision: “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 comfortable with that.”

He elaborated further: “There is something that I really do find problematic about the idea of wrestling with a girl, and part of that comes from my faith and my beliefs. Another part of it comes from how I was raised to treat women, as well as from different experiences and things I’ve encountered.”

Brendan clarified his stance on equality: “I don’t think that I am looking at them as not equal. I am saying that they are women, and that is different from being men, because I do believe that men and women are different and we are made differently. But I still believe that women are of equal value to men. I don’t think that seeing men and women as different opposes the idea of equality.”

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As a result of Brendan’s decision not to wrestle the two girls, he placed sixth, while Angel and Jaslynn placed fourth and fifth respectively.

Jaslynn, however, expressed her disappointment at Brendan opting out of their potential match. Speaking to the Washington Post at the time, she said, “This whole time that I’ve wrestled, it’s just me trying to prove a point that I am just a wrestler.

“The fact that my gender is something that kind of holds me back still is just a little nerve-racking, but I respect his decision. It’s fine.

“My whole thing is that I’m not a girl wrestler; I’m just a wrestler. So it kind of doesn’t hurt my feelings, but I do kind of take it to heart.”

See more on Brendan’s big call here:

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