Wrestling referee Alan Maloney has has been suspended for at least two years after a civil rights investigation open over him making student Andrew Johnson cut his dreadlocks or forfeit the December wresting match.
What We Know:
- The Buena High School student was told by Maloney that his headgear covering his hair was not in compliance with New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association rules, resulting in a woman cutting his hair off with cheap scissors.
- The New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division on Civil Rights (DCR) announced that Maloney would be suspended for the next two wrestling seasons. Furthermore, everyone in the state involved with wrestling will undergo implicit bias training.
- This is not the first time that Maloney has shook the table. He had previously faced scrutiny for using a racial slur at a of wrestling officials gathering in 2016, leading to another black referee throwing him to the ground.
- The investigation revealed that Maloney said Johnson’s locs were “abrasive and altered” and therefore were a ”hindrance to his opponent,” adding that Johnson’s hair was “not in its natural state.” He then also proceeded to call his hair “UNNATURAL.”
- The NJSIAA in response to the incident has removed the portion of its rulebook that requires student’s hair to be “trimmed,” “well-groomed” and “in its natural state,” stating that “the term ‘well-groomed’ is extremely subjective and there is no standard to meet such an arbitrary expectation…Hair that is manipulated poses no threat to either wrestler.”
Glad Johnson is getting his reparations!