National champion wrestler Aaron Brooks is getting hell for mentioning Muhammad in his answer about his Christian faith after winning an NCAA title.
The 22-year-old Penn State athlete gave a post-game interview to ESPN after he won the 184-pound finals Saturday, which NCAA Wrestling posted then quickly pulled after backlash.
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“I know we share a strong faith. How does that help you on a night like tonight?” the reporter asked Brooks, who often shares Bible verses on social media.
“It’s everything. Christ’s resurrection is everything. Not just His life but His death and resurrection. You can only get that through Him. The Holy Spirit only through Him. No false prophets, no Muhammad, no anyone else. Only Jesus Christ, Himself.”
In the back and forth, Brooks continued to credit his Christian faith for his performance.
“I’m blessed. God used me. He gives me this platform for this right here, to exalt Him. That’s all it’s for. When I’m suffering cutting weight, away from family, it’s all for Him. It’s all for His glory,” he concluded
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UFC analyst Ariel Helwani called the star athlete’s comments “disrespectful” and “offensive to Muslims.”
“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!” Helwani tweeted before NCAA Wrestling removed the video.
“FunFact: you can practice your faith without sounding like bigot and dragging someone else’s faith so disrespectfully,” Sarwat Malik tweeted. “Absolutely uncalled for, BRAZEN.”
Dave Zirin, a sports editor at The Nation, accused the NCAA of “promoting the anti-Muslim rhetoric.”
CAIR National, a Muslim civil rights group, thanked the NCAA for “removing a post that celebrated remarks #Aaron Brooks made in a post-match interview…randomly denigrating #ProphetMuhammad (PBUH) while representing his diverse classmates at @penn_state was inappropriate, offensive, and unacceptable.”
All the backlash is insane, given that Brooks was asked about his faith — not theirs. It’s his right to share his religious beliefs wherever he wants to and if it offends people that’s fine.
Shame on NCAA Wrestling for caving to the radical anti-free speech Islamists.
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Caleb Parke is the SMG managing editor. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and connect with him at calebparke.com.