A Wrestler’s Choice: Sticking to His Beliefs

Making sacrifices for your beliefs and sticking up for what you believe in is admirable. The 18-year-old Colorado native and former high school wrestler Brendan Johnston is all too familiar with this. Brendan made a risky choice in 2018 that essentially put a stop to his high school wrestling career. He declined to compete in two state tournament matches against female opponents, citing personal and religious convictions as his justification.

In recent years, the question of whether it is fair to compete physically between adult males and adult girls has gained more and more attention. Many people think it’s unjust to expect men and women to compete on an equal footing because they are fundamentally different from one other, both biologically and in other ways.

Brendan objected to the thought of going up against Skyview High’s Jaslynn Gallegos in the state tournament’s opening round. He also declined to take part in his consolation match against Valley High’s Angel Rios in the third round as a senior at Colorado Springs’ Classical Academy. An interview with KDVR provided a Christian explanation of Brendan’s choice. He said he felt it was too violent and physically uncomfortable to wrestle with a girl. He added that his background and religious beliefs had influenced how he saw women’s roles and distinctions from men.

It’s critical to remember that Brendan’s choice has repercussions. He finished sixth in the tournament while Jaslynn and Angel finished fourth and fifth, respectively, as a result of not wrestling the two females.

While acknowledging Brendan’s decision, Jaslynn voiced her disappointment at not being able to challenge him. Her gender doesn’t define her ability; she views herself first and foremost as a wrestler. She is aware, nevertheless, that social judgments can still hinder her.


Brendan made a contentious decision that sparked debates and dissenting views. How do you feel about Brendan’s choice not to engage in a wrestling match with a female? We would be delighted to hear your opinions.

To learn more about Brendan’s choice and its effects, watch this video:

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