There’s something admirable about standing up for what you believe in and making sacrifices for your faith. Brendan Johnston, an 18-year-old former high school wrestler from Colorado, knows this all too well. In 2018, Brendan made a bold decision that effectively ended his high school wrestling career. He chose to forfeit two state tournament matches that were scheduled against female opponents, citing his religious and personal beliefs as his reason for refusing to compete.

The debate over whether it’s fair to pit adult males against adult females in physical competitions has become increasingly prominent in recent years. Many people believe that men and women are fundamentally different, both biologically and in other ways, making it unfair to expect them to compete against each other on an even playing field.

Brendan took issue with the idea of wrestling against Jaslynn Gallegos from Skyview High in the first round of the state tournament. As a senior at the Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, he also chose not to participate in his third-round consolation match against Angel Rios from Valley High. In an interview with KDVR, Brendan, a Christian, explained his decision. He stated that he found wrestling with a girl to be physically uncomfortable and too aggressive. He also expressed that his faith and upbringing shaped his view on treating women with respect and recognizing their differences from men.

It’s important to note that Brendan’s decision had consequences. As a result of not wrestling the two girls, he placed sixth in the tournament, while Jaslynn and Angel placed fourth and fifth respectively.

Jaslynn, although respectful of Brendan’s decision, expressed her disappointment in not being able to compete against him. She sees herself as a wrestler first, without her gender defining her abilities. However, she understands that societal perceptions can still hold her back.

Brendan’s choice was a controversial one, prompting discussions and differing opinions. What do you think about Brendan’s decision to refuse to wrestle a female? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Check out this video to see more about Brendan’s decision and the impact it had:

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