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February 23rd, 2011
03:45 PM ET

Wrestler who refused to grapple with girl explains decision

The high school wrestler in Iowa who forfeited a match against a girl in a state tournament last week says he objected both to "compromising" positions that such a match could entail and to the idea of inflicting violence on a girl.

“Wrestling is a combat sport, and at times it gets violent, and you get put in moves and holds that are comprising,” said Joel Northrup, a sophomore. “I just don’t believe it's right that a boy and a girl should, in this manner, wrestle.”

Northrup’s dad, Jamie, said that the decision to forfeit was his son’s alone but that it reflected the family’s Christian convictions.

“Even though there’s no specific Scripture that addresses wrestling with girls, there is the biblical Christian principle of treating women with respect and dignity,” Jamie Northrup said, “and not looking at them as objects to be defeated on the wrestling mat to be, in some cases, groped or slammed.”

Joel Northrup, of Linn-Mar, forfeited a match Thursday to Cassy Herkelman, a freshman from Cedar Falls, who then advanced by default.

Both Northrup and Herkelman lost subsequent matches and were eliminated from the tournament before the finals.

But Northrup said Wednesday that he would forfeit a match against a girl even if it meant giving up a state championship.

“I would give up the chance," he said. "I wouldn’t wrestle a girl, whether it’s finals or any other meet or districts.”

Northrup said female wrestlers should face other girls.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Faith Now • Sports • United States

soundoff (1,396 Responses)
  1. Madison May

    Since professional wrestling is centered on being a family entertainment venue, there is a considerable amount of censorship that takes place to quieting the actions that professional wrestlers take when they are in the ring on any given night. Every professional wrestler establishes a persona that is angled toward increasing public appeal in the sport and in the wrestler. All of the outrageous antics that a wrestler comes up with while training for matches from week to week to meant to gain a wider viewing audience."

    Find out more about our own web portal as well
    <'http://www.healthmedicinelab.com/rash-on-neck/

    February 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  2. Kailey

    I Am a girl,15 from Illinois, and i plan on wrestling next year, and i wish that guys wouldn't forfeit against girls, because if they are on a wrestling team they are obviously there because they WANT to wrestle and compete, however if the guy is not comfortable wrestling with me(a girl) i wont judge him in anyway, its your own choice and i agree :)

    April 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.