Referee Made High School Wrestler Cut His Dreadlocks Prior To Match
By Bill Galluccio
December 21, 2018
A New Jersey wrestling official is under fire after he told a high school student that he must cut his dreadlocks or be forced to forfeit the match. Buena Regional High School's Andrew Johnson was preparing for his match against a wrestler from Oakcrest High School when Alan Maloney told him he could not wrestle with his current haircut.
After some back and forth arguments between Maloney and coaches from Buena Regional, Johnson decided to cut off his dreadlocks. Video recorded at that match shows an athletic trainer using a pair of scissors to cut Johnson's hair.
According to NJ.com, rules set by the National Federation of State High School Association require wrestlers to wear a cover over their hair if it "extends below the earlobe on the sides or touches the top of a normal shirt." It is unclear why Johnson, who had no issues with his haircut in previous matches, was not given the option to cover his hair.
Johnson would go on to win his match, helping lead his school to victory. After the match, Johnson did not appear happy and barely acknowledged the ref before walking off the mat.
This is not the first time Maloney has been involved in controversy. He reportedly used a racial slur during a party in 2016 and got into a physical altercation with another coach.