High school wrestler forfeits state tournament immediately when he sees who opponent is

Former Colorado high school wrestler Brendan Johnston made headlines in 2018 when he chose to forfeit two state tournament matches against girls due to his religious and personal beliefs. By declining these matches, he ended his high school wrestling career. Brendan, a senior at the time, refused to compete against Jaslynn Gallegos and Angel Rios, citing discomfort with wrestling girls.

Explaining his decision to KDVR, Brendan, a Christian, said, “I don’t think that’s really appropriate with a young lady. It’s also very aggressive and I’m not really comfortable with that.” He emphasized his belief in equality while acknowledging differences between men and women. Despite his decision, Brendan placed sixth in the tournament, while Jaslynn and Angel placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

Jaslynn expressed disappointment but respect for Brendan’s choice, telling the Washington Post, “My whole thing is that I’m not a girl wrestler; I’m just a wrestler.” She highlighted her desire to be recognized for her skills rather than her gender.

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