“Racist Ref Alan Maloney Forces Black Wrestler Andrew Johnson To Cut Off Dreadlocks During Match
The white referee who forced a black high school wrestler to either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit the match is now being investigated by NJ state athletic officials.
The incident occurred at Buena Regional High School. The video that has since gone viral shows a visibly distraught Andrew Johnson having his hair cut in order to continue with his match.
Epitome of a team player ⬇️
A referee wouldn’t allow Andrew Johnson of Buena @brhschiefs to wrestle with a cover over his dreadlocks. It was either an impromptu haircut, or a forfeit. Johnson chose the haircut, then won by sudden victory in OT to help spark Buena to a win. pic.twitter.com/f6JidKNKoI
— Mike Frankel (@MikeFrankelSNJ) December 20, 2018
Jenna West of Sports Illustrated said Johnson arrived for the 120-pound match with his hair covered in a wrap, however Maloney still insisted he cut off his dreadlocks in order to compete. It appears Maloney didn’t give Johnson the option of wrestling with his hair in a wrap “like many other wrestlers with long hair.”
People claim the ultimatum was racially motivated since the referee, Alan Maloney, has previously been disciplined for making a racist comment in 2016. In 2016, Maloney allegedly directed a racial slur at African American referee Preston Hamilton during a social event for official. Hamilton said Maloney poked him in the chest and then used the slur before Hamilton tackled him to the ground.
Maloney claims he didn’t remember using the “N-word” but he believed the “accounts of witnesses who told him he said the word,”.
Although Maloney has not been formally suspended or disciplined, for the incident, Maloney is not going to be officiating any other events.
A source connected to Maloney said he was merely enforcing a rule about hair maintenance and insists that race was not a factor.
A rep for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association gave the following statement.
“The NJSIAA has been in direct contact with school officials and is now awaiting official incident reports. A report also has been requested from the referee involved. In addition – and as per its formal sportsmanship policy – the NJSIAA has provided initial information to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and will continue to send updates as they become available.”
“At this point, the NJSIAA is working to determine the exact nature of the incident and whether an infraction occurred.”
“As a precautionary measure, given the degree of attention being focused on this matter, the NJSIAA will recommend to chapter officials that the referee in question not be assigned to any event until this matter has been reviewed more thoroughly in order to avoid potential distractions for the competing wrestlers.”