The parenets of 16-year-old Andrew Johnson have released a statement in the wake of his controversial wrestling match where an official ordered him to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his bout.
Charles and Rosa Johnson expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of support their son received in a statement through their lawyer.
"Andrew has been deeply moved by the thunderous outpouring of unsolicited support — including from an Olympic wrestler, leading civil rights advocates and elected officials — after the shocking pre-match ultimatum," the statement read.
Dishing on Andrew's experience, the statement added, "Andrew was visibly shaken after he and his coaches made every effort to satisfy the referee short of having his hair cut. But, as captured on video, the referee gave Andrew 90 seconds to either forfeit his match or cut his hair."
Dominici A. Speziali, the family's attorney,called the events outrages and said conduct by referee Alan Maloney "appears more egregious as additional information comes to light."
The ref in question, Maloney, who is white, alleged used a racial slur at a social gathering with sports officials in 2016 and was ordered to apologized and ordered to attend sensitivity training.
Johnson, a junior at New Jersey's Buena Regional High School, was preparing to wrestle in a match for the 120-pound bout when Malolney said that the teen's dreadlocks and hair cover violated state regulations.
Check out the full length statement below:
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