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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Transgender wrestler Mack Beggs speaks out after criticism

03.02.17 at 9:36 am ET

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— Mack Beggs, the transgender wrestler who won the Texas state girls’ wrestling title last week, opened up in an interview with Outside the Lines on Wednesday, saying he needs to “stay strong” against the scrutiny he has received for wrestling against girls.

The 17 year-old Beggs identifies as male and said he was undeterred by the boos from the crowds during matches on his way to winning the championship.

“I just heard the boos, but I heard more cheering,” Beggs said. “Honestly, I was like, ‘You know what? Boo all you want, because you’re just hating. You hating ain’t going to get me and you nowhere, and I’m just going to keep on doing what I’ve got to do.’

“That’s why I’ve always had that mentality,” he went on. “If you’re going to be negative, you know, whatever, that’s not going to faze me.”

Beggs said he has been called “f—-t” and “it” and said his taking testosterone is the reason for the boos and criticism.

“I mean, I’ve been winning before when I didn’t have testosterone, but now that, you know, I’m actually winning winning, people want to go crazy,” Beggs said. He said he believes some people “just automatically want to call me a cheater.”

“Like that kind of makes me feel like they don’t care about my training or the work that I put in,” he went on. “Because I’ve been to [state] twice. And it’s not like I’m just doing this because I want to like call myself a boy and just dominate all these girls. What do I get out of that? I don’t get anything out of that.”

Beggs said given the choice he would rather wrestle boys because “it just makes more sense.”

“Boy’s wrestling is hard. It’s really, really hard. But I’ll do it. If it means wrestling with the guys, I’ll do it,” he said. “It doesn’t invalidate how I wrestle and how my technique is. If I get beat, I get beat. I just didn’t train hard enough. I didn’t work hard enough.”

In this interview, Beggs also talked about times in his life when he was suicidal.

“I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone, but I would feel like I need to kill myself sometimes. But I was like, ‘No, nah, I can’t do that,'” he said.”You just have to stay strong. There’s going to be sucky days. There is going to be sucky days, believe me. … There’s always going to be another day. There’s always going to be another week. You’ve just got to keep on rolling.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I wouldn’t comment on a player on another team. It would just be inappropriate for me to do and against league rules. I understand the interest in that and I’ve seen all the headlines that have been written, but I wouldn’t comment on that.” — Browns’ GM Sashi Brown, on rumors Cleveland is interested in Jimmy Garoppolo.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Malcolm Butler (26)