Did you catch the story recently on the boy wrestler who gave up his shot at the state championship because he would not wrestle a girl? The 16-year-old boy is Joel Northrup and the 14-year-old girl is Cassy Herkleman. Both are high school wrestlers from Iowa pitted against each other in the first round of the Iowa State wrestling tournament.
Joel walked off the mat and forfeited his chance at the state title because he would not wrestle with a girl. In an interview with Fox News, he said that he made this decision based on his moral beliefs. He did not believe it was right to wrestle a girl and engage in the compromising holds that wrestling entails. He said that he was choosing to honor the girl and her future husband by refusing to wrestle with her.
Some have questioned his decision stating that if he really wanted to respect this girl, he would have faced her in the wrestling tournament. Joel’s father, Jamie, told the Des Moines Register, "We believe in the elevation and respect of women, and we don't think that wrestling a woman is the right thing to do. Body slamming and takedowns, full contact sport, is not how to do that."
What do you think about this? With girls making advances in almost every sport offered in high school, do you think it is appropriate for girls and boys to compete in highly physical sports? Do you think girls should be allowed to play on predominantly male sports teams such as football in high school? Was Joel really respecting Cassy by his decision?