NJSIAA suspends referee after ordering wrestler to cut off dreadlocks

Referee Alan Maloney in the left and wrestler Andrew Johnson in the right (@mikefrankelISNJ)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) suspended referee Alan Maloney after telling a high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks or else he will forfeit the match.

Authorities from New Jersey confirmed that the suspension is up to two years and it was after Maloney told Andrew Johnson to cut his dreads.

Johnson’s team filed a protest minutes before the match but were unsuccessful leaving them no choice but to proceed with a quick haircut for Johnson. Johnson would ultimately win the match but lose his locks.

Before NJSIAA’s decision to suspend referee Maloney, investigations by New Jersey’s Division on Civil Rights strengthened the case in favor of Johnson’s team to help suspend the referee.

What’s shocking is that athletes with the same cut were not forced to cut their hair, but were allowed to put a hair cover.