HS Athlete Forfeits Match, Refuses To Wrestle Female Opponent - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-18-2011, 07:16 PM   #1
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HS Athlete Forfeits Match, Refuses To Wrestle Female Opponent

As they said on GMA this morning-chivalry or chauvinism? Although I don't think it's quite as simple as that, if it is just his sincere religious belief and there isn't any known basis to say he's being chauvinist. Of course one might question the chauvinist aspects of some religious beliefs. On the other hand girls have won the right and why can't they compete just like everyone else when they qualified? That is the sport, it requires that type of contact.



High school athlete refuses to wrestle female opponent – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs

By Jim Kavanagh, CNN

A high school wrestler in wrestling-crazy Iowa forfeited a tournament match Thursday after refusing to grapple with a female opponent.

"As a matter of conscience and my faith, I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner," Joel Northrup said in a written statement, according to the Des Moines Register.

Northrup is home-schooled but wrestles as a 112-pound sophomore for Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa. He was a state title contender with a 35-4 record, CNN affiliate KCRG-TV reported.

His erstwhile opponent, Cassy Herkelman of Cedar Falls, advanced by default at Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena.

Herkelman (20-13), a freshman, and Ottumwa, Iowa sophomore Megan Black (25-13) are the first two girls ever to qualify for the state individual tournament, which goes back to 1926.

Black lost her opening-round match and moved to the consolation bracket. If both Northrup and Black win twice in the consolation bracket, they will be paired in the third round, forcing Northrup again to decide whether to wrestle a girl.

Northrup, the son of a minister, had indicated after the first pairings were announced Sunday that he might take the forfeit.

"My understanding is that they've got strict convictions (as a family), and I respect them," Herkelman's father, Bill, told the Register at the time. "I don't have any ill will toward them and I don't think it's any kind of boycott about her being a girl."

Northrup said as much in his statement:

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. ... It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most of the high school sports in Iowa."
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. ...
And yet they obviously seem to know that and continue to wrestle anyway, so I think that shows they're willing to take that risk . Isn't that concern also there for the guys as well? They can get hurt, have gotten hurt, too.

I'm just confused as to why somebody who's home-schooled is on a team for a public high school. How do the rules work in regards to that? I guess if he doesn't want to wrestle her, that's his choice, but I disagree with his reasoning, whether it be religious or gender-based.

Angela
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
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And yet they obviously seem to know that and continue to wrestle anyway, so I think that shows they're willing to take that risk . Isn't that concern also there for the guys as well? They can get hurt, have gotten hurt, too.

I guess he means that his personal and religious beliefs don't permit him to be "violent" in any way with females. But they do with males????

I don't know about the home schooling issue-I would guess that it's the only way to allow them to compete in sports.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:47 PM   #4
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I don't know, I have to admit I would have a hard time taking part in this as well.

On the basketball court? No problem.

Baseball field? No problem.

But physically being violent? I couldn't do it.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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Yea it's odd discussing the potential chauvinistic behavior of a male who refused to be violent with a female... I get the discussion, but its still strange.

As far as the home schooling thing... they still pay taxes in the district. That's why he's allowed to compete.

Jason taylor was home schooled.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Moonlit_Angel View Post
I'm just confused as to why somebody who's home-schooled is on a team for a public high school. How do the rules work in regards to that? I guess if he doesn't want to wrestle her, that's his choice, but I disagree with his reasoning, whether it be religious or gender-based.
There were a few home schooled students that competed in sports at my high school.

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I don't know, I have to admit I would have a hard time taking part in this as well.

On the basketball court? No problem.

Baseball field? No problem.

But physically being violent? I couldn't do it.
I would feel incredibly uncomfortable having to wrestle with a male at that age.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:38 PM   #7
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I don't know, I have to admit I would have a hard time taking part in this as well.

On the basketball court? No problem.

Baseball field? No problem.

But physically being violent? I couldn't do it.
This.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:45 PM   #8
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I understand that argument and it's a fair, legitimate one, but at the same time, I dunno, given that it's in a sports setting and such, it doesn't bother me as much. And like I said, the girls are willing to do this and take it on, so if they're not afraid, I don't think the guys should be afraid, either. But that's just me.

Also understood about the taxes thing, too. Still seems weird, though.

Angela
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:53 PM   #9
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It kinda bugs me that the chauvinist angle is even being brought up. It's such a horseshit knee jerk reaction. He has clearly stated his reason. It's not like he said "girls don't belong in the sport". I would've done the same thing he did
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:05 PM   #10
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i'm confused his religious beliefs are what prevented him from doing it. i have no religious beliefs and couldn't do it either.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:36 PM   #11
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Nothing quite defines "awkward hard-on" like inadvertent wood in the north-south grapple.

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Old 02-19-2011, 11:03 PM   #12
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They're athletes, it's a sport, this is not about personalized aggression. I think that's the only logical way to look at it.

But it's true the socialization behind this can be complex, and runs pretty deep. We've never told our two sons, Don't hit a girl; we tell them (and their sister), Don't use violence to solve arguments (and all three of them needed frequent reminders to that effect when they were very small). We do allow them some roughhousing, outdoors and only in play, with friends and each other. All three of them know it's a no-no to play rough with a kid significantly smaller than you, and also at some point or another we've pulled all three of them aside and quietly pointed out that the friend they're playing with clearly isn't as used to this game or to as much physical activity as they are, so slow down and play gently. Still, we know they're learning about these things from all kinds of other sources besides us--they play at other kids' houses, they interact at school and outdoors with kids from different families who might have different expectations and sensibilities. I remember clearly from my own childhood that most adults reacted differently to girls roughhousing than to boys doing so. If two boys were playing rough, generally grownups paid little attention unless and until it became clear that one boy was distressed, or a lamp got knocked over or something. Whereas if two girls were roughhousing, even if they were both laughing and grinning, most adults would immediately be all "No, No!" and make them stop. And many parents freaked out at girls roughhousing with boys, too. I remember once playing football with my brothers and three other boys, two of them brothers, in their yard down the street, and their father rushed out and started yelling at them, You don't tackle a GIRL!, blah blah blah. His kids shrugged awkwardly and were like, But Dad, she's played football with us lots of times. (I remember finding his reaction totally ironic because his daughter, who was older and bigger than any of us, while no footballer was well-known to all the neighborhood kids as a bully; she'd smack younger kids, both boys and girls, in the head or kick them in the shins if they made her mad.)

Anyway, granted, by the time we were all preteen-ish, we wouldn't have felt appropriate doing that anymore, not because it suddenly seemed "violent" (at least, not to me) but because of the growing sense of privacy before the opposite sex about your body. Hey, that's where sex-segregated school sports come in, right? But for some sports, like wrestling, and in some states, that option isn't there; if you're a girl who loves and is good at wrestling, getting over that hangup is essential if you want to compete and become a serious athlete at that sport. These girls were obviously able to do that, and so were their male teammates.
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It's not like he said "girls don't belong in the sport".
He's certainly saying he believes girls don't belong in a tournament that includes boys; no way around that. Which, in a state where the rules of the sport require female athletes to compete against males in order to participate at all, effectively means you don't accept their belonging to the sport.

Not sure how to evaluate the religious beliefs claim. If it were a question of his religion prescribing some hard-and-fast law against that (for example, the way some sects of Judaism and Islam understand their religious law to explicitly forbid handshakes with opposite-sex nonrelatives), well, then, that conflict of priorities is what it is, and I understand his decision and don't think anyone should take it personally. It doesn't really sound like it was anything that straightforward here, though.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:07 PM   #13
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The real question is...

Why is this news? For CNN of all places?
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:11 PM   #14
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I don't see the big deal. Why don't guys wrestle guys and girls wrestle girls? If the kid doesn't want to do it, he doesn't have to regardless of his reasons.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:24 PM   #15
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He's certainly saying he believes girls don't belong in a tournament that includes boys; no way around that. Which, in a state where the rules of the sport require female athletes to compete against males in order to participate at all, effectively means you don't accept their belonging to the sport.
He never said that. He said that he would not fight a girl, but didn't say nobody else shouldn't. And like it or not, combat sports are full of aggression. Wrestling, MMA, Boxing... all sports where a ton of aggression is involved. Even non combat sports - Football and Rugby come to mind - are full of aggression. There is no separating the two.
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