Brendan Johnston of The Classical Academy in Colorado says he’s never competed against a girl. When presented the opportunity to do so in the Colorado state wrestling championships last weekend, and move closer to a possible state title, he stuck with his principles and decided to forfeit matches against two female wrestlers, thus ending his high school career.
A devout Christian, Johnston, 18, attends the International Anglican Church in Colorado Springs.
“There is something that I really do find problematic about the idea of wrestling with a girl, and a part of that does come from my faith and my belief,” he told The Washington Post. “And a part of that does come from how I was raised to treat women as well as maybe from different experiences and things.”
The senior explained to the newspaper that he’s never wrestled a girl since he started in the sport in the seventh grade. He said the physical aggression required in wrestling isn’t something he’s comfortable showing toward a girl, on or off the mat.
Johnson also said there was no gender bias in his decision not to wrestle the two girls. Equality seems never entered his mind. However, the differences between the sexes did.
“I don’t think that I am looking at them as not equal,” Johnston told the Post. “I am saying that they are women and that is different than 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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