High School Wrestler Sacrifices Matches in the Name of Beliefs

At times, we come across stories that truly showcase the immense respect that can be earned by sticking to our beliefs or making sacrifices for our faith. Brendan Johnston, a former high school wrestler from Colorado, is one such individual. In a remarkable display of conviction, he decided to forfeit two state tournament matches against girls back in 2018. By doing so, he effectively ended his high school wrestling career, citing his religious and personal beliefs as the reason for his refusal to accept the matches.

The topic of pitting adult males against adult females in physical competitions is one that has garnered significant attention in recent times. It is widely acknowledged that it is unfair to make men and women compete against each other. The physiological and biological differences between the sexes create an inherently uneven playing field.

18-year-old Brendan Johnson took offense to the idea of wrestling against Jaslynn Gallegos of Skyview High in the first round of the state tournament in 2018. As a senior at the Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, he made the conscious decision not to fight Angel Rios from Valley High in his third-round consolation match either.

In an interview with KDVR, Brendan, who is a devout Christian, explained his perspective: “Wrestling is a physical sport that involves close contact. I don’t believe it’s appropriate to engage in such aggressive physical contact with a young lady. My discomfort stems from a combination of my faith, my upbringing, and my belief that men and women are different.”

Brendan emphasized that his stance does not diminish the value of women or the concept of gender equality. He firmly believes that men and women are equal but acknowledges that their inherent differences must be respected. His decision not to wrestle the two girls resulted in him placing sixth, while Angel and Jaslynn placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

Jaslynn voiced her disappointment with Brendan’s choice, albeit with understanding. She told the Washington Post, “Throughout my wrestling journey, I have always aimed to prove that I am just a wrestler, regardless of my gender. The fact that my gender still holds me back is disheartening, but I respect Brendan’s decision. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, but it does matter to me.”

Brendan’s unwavering decision to adhere to his beliefs in the face of controversy serves as a powerful example of conviction and sacrifice. What are your thoughts on Brendan’s choice not to wrestle a female opponent? Share your opinions in the comments below.

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