April 16, 2001
Let's give all athletes the respect they deserve
This letter is in response to the mother who wishes parents to be responsible and keep girls out of the sport of wrestling. As a mother of four boys (the oldest being in college) I am well aware of the writer's concerns. However, allow me to respectfully disagree.
A boy and a girl grabbing each other's "body in potentially intimate places" may be a concern for parents. However, a boy and a boy grabbing each other's body may be a concern as well.
There is also the possibility of contracting skin infections, cauliflower ears, sore muscles, black eyes, scratches, dislocated body parts and broken bones. What about the emotions of your adolescents? Has your child ever been pinned in a match in 10 seconds or less? As a responsible parent, these are only a few of the many concerns that I have.
Girls have been successfully competing in the predominately male sport of wrestling for years. Yes, maybe it is time to let everyone know this. There are also other facts that the community needs to be aware of.
Athletes and their parents have many responsibilities to "the team." Athletes are responsible for attending 1 1/2 - 2 hour practices five days a week. They are also responsible for supporting their teammates whether they win or lose. Most important of all, they are responsible for being respectful of their coaches, the scorekeepers, the referees, their teammates and the opposing team.
It is a simple fact that a forfeit during a wrestling match is six points to the opposing team. This could mean the difference between a win or loss for the entire school. It is my opinion that forfeiting a match because the opponent is a girl is simply a lack of respect.
Any student who chooses to give up their "free time" to withstand the hard work required to be a responsible athlete in the sport of their choosing needs a fair chance. Let's give them the respect they deserve.
Jane Brammer, Riverview School District parent