Referee Slammed As Racist For Forcing Wrestler To Cut Off His Dreadlocks
Fury ensues after a New Jersey high school wrestler was forced to make a choice: cut off his dreadlocks or forfeit the game.
The referee who demanded the decision has been slammed as racist after a video was shared of the incident online.
Epitome of a team player :arrow_down:
A referee wouldn't allow Andrew Johnson of Buena @brhschiefs to wrestle with a cover over his dreadlocks. It was either an impromptu haircut, or a forfeit. Johnson chose the haircut, then won by sudden victory in OT to help spark Buena to a win. pic.twitter.com/f6JidKNKoI
- Mike Frankel (@MikeFrankelSNJ) December 20, 2018
Local reporter Mike Frankel tweeted footage of the Buena Regional High School student Andrew Johnson getting his dreads cut off courtside, along with the caption: "Epitome of a team player.
"A referee wouldn't allow Andrew Johnson of Buena @brhschiefs to wrestle with a cover over his dreadlocks.
"It was either an impromptu haircut, or a forfeit. Johnson chose the haircut, then won by sudden victory in OT to help spark Buena to a win."
Yes, it led to a win - but at what cost?
Let it be known that Johnson had a cover over his hair, and it was who decided it wouldn't do and reportedly insisted despite several minutes of contention from the athlete's coaches.
The tweet has sparked a flurry of comments online, with many directing anger towards Mike for the initial line of his caption. As one user wrote: "The beginning of your tweet 'epitome of a team player' says it all. Because this was not. And white folks are so clueless about our hair.
"It probably took him 2 years to get it to that length vs a white boy can grow his hair back to that length in two weeks & Players (sic) high five?!?"
The ACLU of New Jersey tweeted: "How many different ways will people try to exclude black people from public life without having to declare their bigotry? We're so sorry this happened to you, Andrew. This was discrimination, and it's not OK."
It's important to point out that the ref in question, Maloney, has been embroiled in a racism controversy before, which many of the commenters were quick to point out.
According to the Courier Post, in 2016 he is said to have used a racial slur against another referee, Preston Hamilton, who is African-American.
His one-year suspension over the alleged use of the word was later overturned, although many are now resurfacing the case in the midst of the latest scandal.
As it stands, the state's Interscholastic Athletic Association said in a statement that they are calling for Maloney to be kept away from events until the matter has been reviewed in more detail, while the Division on Civil Rights has also opened an investigation into what happened.
Featured Image Credit: SNJ Today