College wrestler sparks outrage after attacking Islam during post-match interview
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A college wrestler has sparked outrage after seemingly attacking the Islamic faith.
Penn State athlete Aaron Brooks was conducting a post-match interview with ESPN when he claimed Muhammad is a false prophet.
His comments have now started circulating online, angering viewers.
After capturing his third title at the 2023 NCAA wrestling championships, Aaron Brooks used his ESPN interview to call Muhammad a false Prophet and take a cheap shot at Muslims pic.twitter.com/T9qoRRpsQE— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) March 20, 2023
Brooks had just won his third consecutive individual NCAA title, defeating Northern Iowa’s Parker Keckeisen in the 184-pound final.
But when he was interviewed by ESPN after the victory, the 22-year-old decided to profess his belief in Jesus Christ, while also having a dig at Islam
"It’s everything. Christ’s resurrection is everything," Brooks said into the microphone.
"Not just his life, his death and resurrection. You can only get that through him. The Holy Spirit only through him. No false prophets, no Muhammad or no anyone else. Only Jesus Christ himself."
He added: "I’m blessed. God used me. He gave me this platform for this right here… It’s all for his glory."
Here's the video @NCAAWrestling tweeted, then promptly deleted, of national champion Aaron Brooks professing his faith in Jesus Christ pic.twitter.com/Kk9e7XVb9U— Jake Schneider (@jacobkschneider) March 20, 2023
Incredibly, NCAA Wrestling's official Twitter account posted footage of the interview – before swiftly deleting it upon receiving backlash.
One person who was quick to call it out was respected MMA reporter Ariel Helwani.
He tweeted: "What a strange and disrespectful thing to say. What the. Pretty darn weird. Not to mention offensive to Muslims. Also can’t believe they put the clip and posted it on Twitter!"
Others soon joined in, one person saying
Below is a reminder that wrestling is this amazing unifying vehicle that transcends age, sex, race, and religion. I hope when Brooks looks back on his comments, this is a teachable moment for him. With that being said, in a world full of Aaron Brooks...be a Jordan Burroughs. pic.twitter.com/wNhZjxj0Ci— Christopher Lee (@LifebyLeezus) March 19, 2023
To call Mohammad “a false prophet” is extremely disrespectful to the faith. Aaron Brooks should apologize. @NCAAWrestling— Mikru (@mikru_omega) March 19, 2023
Very disappointed in Aaron Brooks. Those comments after his match were the opposite of inclusive. One can be faithful without being hateful. Our sport must do better.— Suncoast Wrestling 🤼🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@WrestleSuncoast) March 19, 2023
I've heard plenty of Christian pastors say this, but it's wild to see a Christian athlete trash Muslims during a post-match interview by calling Muhammad a "false" prophet. https://t.co/DHVFCvisNb— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) March 20, 2023
This seems unnecessary https://t.co/jaLHcswBiN— Seton O'Connor (@HiMyNameIsSeton) March 19, 2023
Meanwhile, some people took issue with the NCAA initially posting the clip of the remarks.
What a strange and disrespectful thing to say. What the. Pretty darn weird. Not to mention offensive to Muslims. Also can’t believe they put the clip and posted it on Twitter! https://t.co/14iuxIrt21— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 20, 2023
Disgusting. But he can say what he wants. Why is the NCAA promoting this anti-Muslim rhetoric? What a bankrupt "non-profit".— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) March 19, 2023
Here we find @NCAAWrestling & the @NCAA uncritically promoting anti-Islam bigotry from Aaron Brooks. They and @espn need to apologize. https://t.co/CaFoO0RTVr— Elias Cepeda (@EliasCepeda) March 19, 2023
Aaron Brooks is a great wrestler. Terrible islamaphobe. There’s no need for him to even mention Islam. NCAA needs to provide a statement. https://t.co/KGnihXzHbv— Amanat (@aymcfc_) March 20, 2023
Neither the NCAA, ESPN or Brooks himself have issued a statement on the matter since the exchange aired on live prime time television.
In the past, Brooks very vocal about his faith, often using Bible verses as captions for his posts on social media.
Just last year, he told the Penn State student newspaper: "This platform is great to wrestle on, but it’s to glorify God.
"This stuff comes and goes. I’m blessed with this opportunity, these gifts. They’re not mine. He gives them to me to bring glory to him."
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/aaron_mbrooks/Twitter/NCAA Wrestling
Topics: Wrestling, US Sports, United States, MMA