Wresting referee forces highschool student to cut off his dreadlocks, sparking massive outrage
A New Jersey referee is currently under investigation after forcing a high-school wrestler to cut off his dreadlocks before the start of a match.
The incident took place at the Buena Regional High School on Wednesday and the student was given the option to cut his hair or forfeit the match.
The video of the student's hair being cut has found its way to the internet, sparking several cries of outrage from the community.
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So dreadlocks are okay for the US military, but not high school wrestling?! Okay.— Truthiest (@tmtweetz) December 22, 2018
Army Lifts Ban on Dreadlocks, and Black Servicewomen Rejoice https://t.co/2zVQGLOweK
The referee, Alan Maloney, told Andrew Johnson that his hair and headgear were not compliant with regulation so he had to fix it in order to compete.
Following the outrage sparked by the controversial decision, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association shared that the referee would not officiate any matches "until a review could be completed."
Epitome of a team player ⬇️— Mike Frankel (@MikeFrankelJSZ) December 20, 2018
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
A SYMBOL OF OPPRESSION
Furthermore, it has been announced that the NJSIAA is currently investigating the case and trying to determine whether an infraction occurred or not.
The New Jersey Chapter of the American Civil Liberties accused Maloney's actions of being discriminatory, and that "no-loc bans are designed to oppress and shame black people."
No-loc bans are designed to oppress and shame Black people not just for expressing Blackness, but *for* their Blackness. They have no place in our society and certainly not in our schools. Until we can abolish these discriminatory practices and norms, we are all complicit. https://t.co/yaYWn2Ac0P— ACLU of New Jersey (@ACLUNJ) December 21, 2018
A FEELING OF DÉJÀ VU
The group added that the National Federation of State High School Associations was forbidding black people from expressing their "blackness," and that such behavior has no place in today's society.
This wasn't the first time that Maloney has found himself in a similar situation. Back in 2016, the referee verbally attacked a colleague with racial slurs during an argument over home-made wine.
Update on that incident in which a N.J. H.S. wrestling official basically forced a wrestler to choose between cut off his dreadlocks or forfeiting his bout. His coaches argued, but the official started the injury clock and wouldn't listen to any more. https://t.co/4l2tf1oQbl— Tom Jacobs (@TeeKJay59) December 21, 2018
SETTING AN EXAMPLE
Racism is still an issue. Thankfully, there are still good people willing to set an example, even at the cost of their life, which was what happened to 25-year-old Chad Merril.
Merrill was fatally shot in the chest outside a restaurant in York, Pennsylvania, after standing up for his friend Jerrel Douglas, who was a victim of racial abuse.
Chad Merrill, a new dad, was fatally shot in the chest after he defended a black man who was being called the n-word and other racial slurs. https://t.co/tCtZ8SL6K7 via @ydrcom pic.twitter.com/dh7jfXI7QX— WITF news (@witfnews) July 22, 2018
His murderer, who was reportedly drunk at the time, was arrested at his parents' house and is currently being held at the York County Jail without bond.