Deaf Wrestling: Toxic Masculinity and Our Own Making

 

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As a wrestler in my younger days and understood the the highest honor of wrestling codes, after seeing a video of a Deaf wrestling coach roughing up a Deaf wrestler after the match is not acceptable tonight (January 18, 2019). That broke the code of the wrestling oldest key: RESPECT. I remember during high school wrestling days, there was a wrestling coach on our opposite team as one of our biggest high school competitors, got fired for hazing couple of wrestlers. The coach was a real dick.

One of those wrestlers explained the story to me because the coach was hazing him so badly that the coach told him that losing to a Deaf wrestler would end up severe consequences and the wrestler actually got whipped with hard water balloons in the face couple of times and also the coach threw a ball at his face once for losing to a Deaf wrestler. I did not know the story until we bumped into each other on a university campus and became good friends and had much respect for each other.

We talked about toxic masculinity through writing on papers and exchanged e-mails and when talked about toxic masculinity because of the coach’s actions, and we understood the wrestling code. It takes a thick skin to be a champion. As the toxic masculinity in the world of sports, wrestling is the oldest sport, the most physically sport with a lot of blood boiling; someone needs to understand what being a wrestler was like.

I’m sorry that the wrestler in that video had to experience the most outlandish of toxic masculinity from a coach, and that is not cool. A wrestler works hard even in practices grueling on wrestling mat sweating, practicing moves to make it perfect, and understand the game of chess in moves.

Wrestling coaches were supposed to be the good role models, because I looked up to my coaches. I was fortunate enough to have a legendary coach on my side. It was also one of my best times. My coach never roughed me up like this like in this video. That is not the wrestling code. This is not the wrestling style. This is not the wrestling method.

I really hope this wrestler gets him together and gain turbulent love of wrestling, and it is the right thing that the coach had been fired. As I learned that it is not the first time, Deaf people of color who had been roughed up by the same coach, is a story that white privilege cannot be ignored.

Today, I still hold membership with USA wrestling, in my heart, because I believe in wrestling as a non-violent changes, wrestling should be a positive figure. Toxic masculinity should not be part of wrestling. Although, my cauliflower ears that were battled through toxic masculinity sometimes the toxic masculinity itself be invisible so easy that it is not recognized enough that you have no idea. This Deaf wrestling coach for MSSD was not a star policy, I stand with this wrestler.

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-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

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Can We Discuss More Often About Toxic Masculinity?