Ever since I can remember, wrestling has been a central part of my life and my identity. My brother started wrestling when I was a preschooler, and I joined him on the mat when I was five. My relationship with the sport has impacted so many other aspects of my life and development — it’s made me mentally tougher, physically stronger, and more resilient.

When I enrolled in college at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the wrestling coach and the wrestlers, all of whom were men, warmly welcomed me because they knew I could help the team win. But right now, as the wrestling season begins, I have to sit on the bench the entire regular season — simply because I am a woman.

Tell NCWA to update its gendered rules

That’s because the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA), which governs club wrestling in college, has a discriminatory rule banning women from wrestling against men in either competitions or practice. Because there are no other women who wrestle in the entire Great Lakes Conference, the NCWA’s rule means I have no opportunity to compete during the entire regular season. The only time the NCWA allows me to wrestle is in the national championships at the very end of the year, where women’s wrestling teams — mostly from the east and west coasts — participate.

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I have competed against male wrestlers my entire life because there are so few female wrestlers in the Midwest. I can remember wrestling tournaments in middle and high school where there were over 400 male athletes and me, the only girl. So what’d I do? I wrestled. And a lot of the time, I won.

As the wrestling season begins, I have to sit on the bench the entire regular season — simply because I am a woman.

In high school, I surpassed 100 varsity career wins, all against males — a rare accomplishment for high school wrestlers, regardless of gender. And when I have been able to wrestle against women’s teams at the end-of-year national championships, I have won, earning four girls’ wrestling titles in my weight division from high school or younger and two women’s titles so far during my freshman and sophomore years in college.

The NCWA’s rule is simply unfair. High schools across the country allow women to wrestle men when there is no women’s wrestling team, and so does the NCAA. So I could fight in the military to defend our country side by side with men, but I can’t compete against them in collegiate wrestling? There is no excuse for the NCWA to keep me off the mat while I watch my male teammates compete.

The ACLU, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Women’s Sports Foundation recently sent a letter to the NCWA on my behalf, arguing that preventing me from competing also violates the law. All I ask is to be permitted to wrestle during the regular season against my male peers.

Learn more about the case

I have proven that I’m just as talented and dedicated an athlete as any man in my weight class. I deserve an equal opportunity to compete in the sport that I love. So, NCWA, please let my coach put me on the mat — not just for me, but for the future of all women in this sport.

You can stand up for Marina and the rights of all women athletes by telling the NCWA to change its discriminatory policies. Join us in telling the NCWA to update its antiquated, gendered rules and stop denying Marina Goocher her right to compete in wrestling this season.

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Dr. Joseph Goebbels

Ms. Goocher needs to think about her future. What is she going to do after she leaves college? Is she going to be mud wrestling in a strip club on the south side of 8 Mile Road?

Anonymous

What a sexist thing to type, read, and actually post. Are you flipping kidding me? How many college athletes are going to become professional athletes? That doesn't stop men from participating in college athletics...

Dr. Joseph Goebbels

Yes I am kidding you, but all college students need to think about what they are going to do once college is over. There is not much demand in the job market for frisbee throwers, beer bongers and panty raiders.

Anonymous

Marina is in Engeneering school at U of M and her GPA puts her in the top of her class

Anonymous

Maybe she’s going to visit Mary magdalen and be Jesus gay transvestism lover. Moses would be proud.

Donald Trump

Can I get back in high school so I can grab her pussy? I’m Donald Trump and I like to grab pussy. I told billy so.

Jennifer

WOW!!!!!

Dr. Joseph Goebbels

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I owe you all an explanation about my posts on this the A.C.L.U. Blog.

Back during the Vietnam War Abbie Hoffman said: If I stand up and say that I am against the war, that's nothing. Everyone is saying they are against the war. If I stand up and say that young people should kill their parents (which he did) then people take notice.

Likewise here on the A.C.L.U. Blog, if I write benign comments, no matter how astute, observant, wise, and well written they may be, no one will acutely react to them. If I make a bunch of ignorant, silly, and smart ass remarks under an outrageous pseudonym then I do get plenty of replies.

You people here on the A.C.L.U. Blog should have more of a sense of humor, after all, with Donald Trump being President of the United States you are going to need it.

May God bless the American Civil Liberties Union.

Lovely Maniac

So basically, you're just a troll.. Great use of your time. ;)

Anonymous

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/troll
trolling. 2 :a person who intentionally antagonizes others online by posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content. Internet trolls.

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