Referee With Racist Past Forces Black Student to Cut Dreadlocks or Forfeit Wrestling Match

Buena High School in Atlantic County wrestler, Andrew Johnson, is forced to cut his dreads by a referee with a history of racist remarks.
Screenshot: YouTube

A New Jersey high school wrestler was reportedly told by a referee with a history of racist behavior to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match during a competition Thursday.

A now-viral video shows Buena High School wrestler Andrew Johnson having his locks sheared off by what is most likely an athletic trainer as he stands in his wrestling sling. A visibly upset Johnson beat his Oakcrest opponent but had to be consoled by his teammates once he left the mat. reports:

The referee, who is clearly visible in the video, has been identified in various social media posts and by NJ Advance Media staff writers as Alan Maloney, who used a racial slur at a social gathering of officials in March 2016.

Maloney, who is white, used the slur in an argument over homemade wine in a Jersey Shore condo after many of the officials gathered following a youth tournament in Wildwood. Another official, Preston Hamilton, who is black, then slammed Maloney to the ground over the remark.


Nice work, Preston Hamilton. Too bad you couldn’t have kept him pinned there.

The video has sparked outrage by many who have called for Maloney’s job. notes that others wondered why the only option presented to Johnson was to cut his hair instead of competing with a wrap over his dreadlocks, which is what most wrestlers with long hair do.

No one from the school or the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, which oversees wrestling, returned phone calls made by the news site.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.