A Black high school wrestler in New Jersey was humiliated and subjected to racial discrimination when a white referee with a history of racism forced him to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match.
Andrew Johnson, from Buena High School in Atlantic County, was competing in a dual meet Thursday night against Oakcrest when referee Alan Maloney gave him the disgusting ultimatum, reported SNJ Today News.
Back in 2016, Alan Maloney used the n-word at a social gathering during an argument over homemade wine. After Maloney used the slur, Preston Hamilton, who is a Black wrestling official, slammed Maloney to the ground.
Although Maloney claimed to have learned his lesson, his decision to force Johnson to either chop off his hair or make his team suffer a loss proves his prejudice still exists. Usually when a wrestler has long hair, they are allowed to compete with a wrap over his head; however, Maloney made Johnson essentially choose between his culture and his team.
Video of Thursday's incident showed Johnson visibly upset while a team trainer cuts off his dreadlocks with scissors. After Johnson’s victory, Maloney raised his hand in victory for a brief moment before the upset teen walked away.
The viral video quickly sparked outrage on social media from many people who believe Maloney is unfit to be a high school wrestling official.
What’s more, New Jersey recently became the first mid-Atlantic state to offer girls wrestling, meaning there will be even more competitors with long hair. Will they also be required to cut off their hair, or is that a punishment reserved for Mr. Johnson?