Skip to main content

Colo. High School Wrestler Forfeits Spot in State Championships Rather Than Wrestle a Girl


Share This article

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 two wrestle the two girls. Equality seems never to have 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."

Johnson said he believes if, given the chance to do it all over again, he would. 

"Even though it wasn't exactly how I wanted things to go, it was a good way to end my high school career," he said. "I would keep it all the same."

The question of fairness in girls sports recently came to a head last week when two biological males who identify as female, broke girls track records while winning against biological female competitors in state track championships in Connecticut.

As CBN News reported, the fairness issue when it comes to transgender athletes competing against females has come up several times in several sports venues over the last two years. Last October, a biological man who identifies as a female won a women's world championship cycling event in California, sparking debate over how transgender athletes should be judged in sporting events.

In 2017, a boy who identifies as a girl won the girl's 100-meter and 200-meter dashes in state championships in Connecticut.  Earlier that same year, a 17-year-old transgender boy won the Texas state girls' wrestling championship.  

"It's not equal," one parent said. "It's never going to be equal."

Share This article

About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of