Outrage sparked after referee forces wrestler to cut dreadlocks

A high school wrestler from New Jersey, facing the threat of a forfeit, had his dreadlocks cut at a wrestling meet on Wednesday, sparking outrage across the internet against the white referee that gave him the ultimatum.

A video of 120-pound Beuna Regional High School wrestler Andrew Johnson getting his hair cut was posted to Twitter by SNJ Today News sports director Mike Frankel. Johnson can be seen being consoled by his teammates and appears visibly upset after his overtime victory over his opponent.

While the video doesn’t show the conversation that happened prior to Johnson’s hair being cut, SNJ Today reported that the referee in question, Alan Maloney, told Johnson that the cover he had over his hair was non-compliant and that he either had to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit the match. Not wanting to give the opposing team six free team points, Johnson elected to have his hair cut above his neckline by a trainer.

Maloney has been accused of racist behavior before, having previously been called out for using a racial slur at a social gathering attended by other wrestling officials. Maloney said he didn’t remember using the slur, but never denied that he said it.

Frankel reported that coaches argued with the referee for several minutes, and only once the referee signaled for injury time to start did Johnson decide he would get his hair cut rather than forfeit.

Immediately, people who saw the video posted by Frankel began criticizing Maloney’s decision to have Johnson cut his hair as both humiliating and racist.

The ACLU of New Jersey pointed out that Maloney’s decision as a referee was discriminatory.

After the video spread, the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association said in a statement that Maloney has been temporarily suspended from officiating any events while the association reviews the incident.

“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,” the association said.

Fellow wrestler Jordan Burroughs shared his own reaction to the situation on Twitter, outlining his own feelings about Johnson’s decision to cut his hair for his team, but also how much it sickened him to see this display of power unfold.

Reactions online have raised questions about the referee and many other adults in the room that allowed this situation to transpire as it did.

Many took issue with the framing of the original video, in which Frankel called Johnson a team player instead of focusing on the larger social issues at hand.

Some even pointed out that other wrestlers with long hair have competed in matches with no problems. 

There are regulations for hair length and hair covers that are laid out by the National Federation of State High School Associations, but they are vague at best and only note that a legal hair covering is one that fits snugly and doesn’t prevent any legal holds.

Meanwhile, rules set out by the NJSIAA specify that hair covering should be worn at weigh-in to ensure that they are legal. Either the officials at the weigh-in didn’t properly assess Johnson’s hair cover, they decided to ignore it, or found it to comply to the regulations.

The timing of Maloney’s decision for Johnson to cut his hair or forfeit is especially interesting because this was at least a month into the regular high school wrestling season, and Johnson had already wrestled two matches without any problems. Why now?

Maloney has not been reached for comment by any publications.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f86134%2f0e5c0898 b50b 48ac 8b2e b0db54acfd00



Source link

more recommended stories

  • Instagram can’t stop flood of grisly photos from Bianca Devins’ murder

    Instagram users are stepping up to.

  • SanDisk microSDXC card for Nintendo Switch for under £18

    Just to let you know, if.

  • New York City blackouts always bring the wildest photos

    It’s rare to catch New York.

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‏joins chorus of facial recognition critics

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knows what’s coming down.

  • Netflix’s ‘Point Blank’ fails Frank Grillo and Anthony Mackie: Review

    The following is a spoiler-free review.

  • Super Mario Party, Breville Espresso Maker, Beats Solo3, and more deals for July 12

    For all you Nintendo Switch owners,.

  • ‘The Lion King’ is a dutiful recreation of a beloved classic: Review

    There’s nothing really wrong with the.

  • ‘Stranger Things’ Monopoly game available for pre-order

    Just to let you know, if.

  • Lyft self-driving cars offer tactile maps, diagrams for blind riders

    Aptiv’s self-driving cars on the Lyft.

  • PS4 games, Sony speakers, Philips juicers, Logitech headsets, Kenwood stand mixers, and more on sale for July 9 in the UK

    Here’s some good news for anyone.

  • Watch Gordon Ramsay teach Lil Nas X how to make a panini

    Lil Nas X is a bonafide.

  • Vets treat ‘exotic’ bird, realize it’s just a seagull covered in curry

    An orange bird saved by passersby.

  • Why that devastating finale is a fake out

    This post contains spoilers for Season.

  • 10 deals on cool gadgets that’ll help you stay organized

    Just to let you know, if.

  • Genius creates a ‘Simpsons’- inspired steamed hams level using ‘Mario Maker 2’

    Proving there is no end to.

  • Apple works to resolve iCloud issues after outages reported

    Reports of iCloud outages made the.

  • Hey drivers, use this to discover how much Uber and Lyft take from you

    Uber and Lyft keep changing how.

  • The hard truth about California’s massive tree die-offs

    The number, so far, is over.

  • This Frigidaire retro mini fridge is on sale for $119 at Walmart

    Just to let you know, if.

  • iPhone game helps heart surgeons save lives

    Sam Glassenberg is no doctor, but.

  • Revolut launches new, effortless way to donate to charities

    Revolut is a UK-based financial services company.

  • This Amazon Web Services online course could help you kick off a new career

    Just to let you know, if.

  • Stormzy’s Glastonbury Festival set featured a badass BSL interpreter

    The U.K. grime star Stormzy staged.

  • Second U.S. city passes ban on facial recognition tech

    Image: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images Michael Kan.

  • Marianne Williamson’s oddball debate answers have made her into a meme

    If you found yourself thinking, “Who.

  • World cup soccer player Jessica McDonald being reunited with her son is super heartwarming

    If you haven’t cried yet today,.

  • JBL Pulse 3 waterproof speaker is on sale for $50 off at Walmart

    Just to let you know, if.

  • Gritty surprises kid with custom Gritty prosthetic leg

    Gritty is so many things, but.

  • Microsoft’s foldable Surface could support Android apps

    ““““`Microsoft’s next Surface could be unlike.

  • Elon Musk’s tweet about Mars is confusing the internet

    A few weeks ago, U.S. president.

  • The fat bear cams are back in business for 2019

    It’s high time to devour 4,500-calorie.

  • Future air travel at the Paris Air Show looks high-tech and autonomous

    While everyone on the ground is.