Referee Fired After He Forced Black Wrestler To Cut Off His Dreadlocks


January 11, 2019 15:53 By Mambee

A referee has been placed on an indefinite suspension after he insisted that a black wrestler cut off his dreadlocks before a match.

Footage of the 16-year-old Buena Regional High School varsity wrestler having his dreadlocks cut off went viral last month after it was shared online. Many internet users were outraged by what seemed like racial bias on the part of the referee.

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Andrew Johnson was asked to cut his hair after the referee, Alan Maloney, told him that his hairstyle was against the league regulations. According to Sportsrec, the rules state that wrestlers must have short hair that does not hang below a standard collar in the back.

The boy's family, who spoke to WNEP through their attorney Dominic A. Speziali, said that Andrew told the referee that he could push the hair back but Maloney refused and claimed that the teen's hair was not in its natural state. Thus Maloney forced Andrew to either cut his locks or forfeit the match. Andrew chose the former and ended up winning the match.

According to a notice posted on the Buena School District website, the school board decided that they would no longer compete in any contest officiated by the referee or collaborate with him.

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The district's superintendent, David Cappuccio, confirmed in that statement that the school does not have the power to fire Maloney because he was not employed by the Buena schools. But the groups that assign referees have assured that they would not assign him to any matches until further notice.


Many social media users have expressed their support for the decision made by the district. 

However, there were some who felt like Maloney did not deserve to be punished. 

Do you believe Maloney was right in asking Andrew to cut his hair? Join the conversation by commenting and sharing the story!

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