A New Jersey wrestling referee has once again come under fire after forcing a Black Buena, New Jersey high school student to cut off his dreads before a match.
Although Andrew Johnson won his match, he wasn’t allowed to wear the usual hair coverings that wrestlers typically wear when they have long hair. It was referee Alan Maloney who gave him the ultimatum: either cut the hair or forfeit the match.
But Maloney has a storied past, especially when it comes to being accused of racism.
In 2016, a fellow referee, who is African-American, accused Maloney of calling him the n-word and pummeled him for it. Although Maloney denied it, other witnesses corroborated Preston Hamilton’s story. Many people called for Maloney to step down from his referee position as well as being fired, but neither of those happened. And here we are, two years later, it seems as though Maloney’s racism has reared its ugly head again.
The dreadlock cutting incident was initially posted on Twitter by New Jersey reporter Mike Frankel, who commended Johnson for being a team player:
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
But Frankel was quickly gathered up by those who immediately saw the act as racism and bias.
If he is not fired from his job, no one should consent to wrestle with him as referee.
— Greg Carr (@AfricanaCarr) December 21, 2018
Disgusting and heartbreaking. A referee known for his racism, Alan Maloney (google him), made high school wrestler Andrew Johnson cut off his dreads or lose the match. They were covered and gave him no advantage. So he cut them off. He won the match. Never should’ve been allowed. pic.twitter.com/ChMXPBzHPk
— Shaun King (@shaunking) December 21, 2018
No, not the epitome of a team player. It’s a kid dealing with a racist ref (dreds gave him no advantage) who was humilated and seemed devastated even after his win. His team shoot have sttod up for him. Utterly and totally f*cked up thing to do to a kid. https://t.co/dD8nn4YSiq
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) December 21, 2018
Johnson, whose hair wasn’t even that long, may remember the day he won his match, but he’ll also remember it as the day he was humiliated in front of his peers solely based on his skin color.Share :