By Rachael Goldenberg
This past weekend Joel Northrup forfeited his chance at the Iowa State Wrestling title after refusing to compete against his female opponent, Cassy Herkelman. Northrup explained his decision by stating, “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy(‘s)…accomplishments… however, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times.”
Let’s dissect that statement a bit, shall we?
Joel’s definition of “respect” is in direct conflict with the athletic definition of respect. Joel defines respect as requiring men to honor women as a “special” group requiring more care and protection (BTW, the same argument used to keep women from access to higher education and voting).
The athletic definition of respect is having high esteem for another’s athletic excellence.