A champion wrestler has come under fire for comments he made about his Christian faith and Muhammad after winning an NCAA title Saturday.
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Penn State wrestler Aaron Brooks, 22, shared his Christian beliefs after securing the victory, crediting the Lord for his triumph.
“It’s everything, Christ’s resurrection is everything,” Brooks said after winning. “Not just his life, but his death and resurrection. You can only get that through Him — the Holy Spirit only through Him.”
It’s what he said next, though, that is sparking controversy. Brooks continued, “No false prophets, no Muhammad or no anyone else. Only Jesus Christ himself.”
The wrestler made his comments while still out of breath following the match, proceeding to also speak about the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Acts 1:8, Power, Holy Spirit power, it’s everything,” he said. “That’s where it’s from.”
Watch Brooks’ comments:
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
The wrestler said God has given him a platform and proclaimed, “it’s all for His glory,” according to Fox News.
Some likened the comments — particularly about false prophets and Muhammad — to bigotry and said they were uncalled for.
“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.”
FunFact: you can practice your faith without sounding like bigot and dragging someone else’s faith so disrespectfully. Absolutely uncalled for, BRAZEN #islamophobia #AaronBrooks @pennstateWREST 🤔 @NCAAWrestling @espn https://t.co/24xXOWawWn— Sarwat Malik (@SarwatMHassan) March 19, 2023
Here are some of the other reactions:
Tripple congrats. But it’s so cringe when someone has the spotlight and talks about religion/politics.— GRIDE (@cryptogride) March 19, 2023
We just wanted to hear about the takedowns man lol.
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
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
His was the cringiest, but this whole team felt like giving a sermon after they won. It was a shameful moment for wrestling!— Apostate1979 (@apostate1979) March 20, 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
NCAA Wrestling also came under fire for reportedly sharing and then deleting the post-match video.
Brooks hasn’t yet addressed the controversy surrounding his remarks.
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