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Letters to the Editor

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 23, 2011 7:20 AM

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Some concerns over wrestling incident

I’m old enough to remember playing six-on-six girls’ basketball. I’ve seen sports change a lot over my lifetime, and from the looks of things, they are still changing.

I’m glad girls have the chance to wrestle. I think that Joel Northrup’s refusal to wrestle a female opponent was unfortunate, but that was his choice. Isn’t that what this country is about: the freedom to make choices?

We certainly don’t want to go back to the days when girls missed out on competing for scholarship money and weren’t taught certain skill sets because they were considered inferior in some way.

Wrestling gives a person a skill set that can be used in other jobs such as to be a police officer or to be in the military.

Then, there is the obvious fact: When girls wrestle, they are better able to protect themselves. It’s also a confidence builder. I think protection and confidence are good for both sexes.

We need to be reminded of the fact that there are Christian boys who wrestle girls and that the recent wrestling match dust-up is just one particular Christian boy who decided not to wrestle a girl.

I have much respect for Northrup and his convictions. I want to be clear that Northrup’s convictions are fine until they are forced on someone else and, if Northrup’s convictions were the rule, girls wouldn’t be wrestling.

I am also concerned that Northrup’s father stated it was being respectful to not wrestle the girl. I don’t know if he beats his opponents into submission, as his father stated, but I thought wrestling was a competitive sport of skill and strategy.

There is protocol at school wrestling meets that keeps things civil and respectful and it also keeps the girls wrestling. If respect means girls can’t wrestle when they want to, girls don’t need that kind of respect.

Mary Suchomel
West Branch

Wrestler’s forfeit grounded in respect

The sex-related wrestling forfeit raises an interesting situation.

On one hand, it is understandable that Jasmine Bailey would feel frustrated by the forfeits and the loss (for her fellow female wrestlers) of an opportunity to compete. On the other hand, I think we ought to commend Joel Northrup for his stance, which has been consistent. He believes that it is never OK for a man to use physical force to try to overpower women and that women should be treated with respect.

I think if more men held this belief as strongly as he did, we would have a better world for it.

Samantha Bastian
UI student


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