The Point: Wrestling with Principle


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High schooler Brendan Johnston recently gave up a chance to place at the Colorado state wrestling tournament. The reason? He refused to wrestle a girl. Rather than take on Angel Rios, Johnston forfeited the match.

He refused to, in his own words, “treat a young lady like that on the mat,” not only because wrestling involves so much physical contact, but because he’s not comfortable being physically aggressive toward a girl.

Good for Brendan. Women can, of course, be marvelous athletes, but there is good reason for them to be separated in sports competitions. Putting women in the ring with men in contests of strength or aggression denies the clear distinct differences between the sexes. And, to state the obvious, it puts everyone in an awkward spot.

Sadly, we’re only going to see more of this with women claiming to be men, and more often in sports, men claiming to be women. But if more athletes refuse to play this game like Brendan did, both sexes will be winners.

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