Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Utilizamos cookies, próprios e de terceiros, que o reconhecem e identificam como um usuário único, para garantir a melhor experiência de navegação, personalizar conteúdo e anúncios, e melhorar o desempenho do nosso site e serviços. Esses Cookies nos permitem coletar alguns dados pessoais sobre você, como sua ID exclusiva atribuída ao seu dispositivo, endereço de IP, tipo de dispositivo e navegador, conteúdos visualizados ou outras ações realizadas usando nossos serviços, país e idioma selecionados, entre outros. Para saber mais sobre nossa política de cookies, acesse link.

Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Ao continuar com a navegação em nosso site, você aceita o uso de cookies.

A Ref Is Being Investigated After He Forced A Black High School Wrestler To Cut Off His Dreadlocks

The referee, Alan Maloney, will be sidelined from matches "until this matter has been thoroughly reviewed."

Posted on December 24, 2018, at 2:16 p.m. ET

A high school wrestling referee is facing a civil rights investigation after he reportedly forced a black student to cut off his dreadlocks or forfeit a match Wednesday in New Jersey.

Leland Moore, a spokesperson in the New Jersey attorney general's office, told BuzzFeed News the office's Division on Civil Rights launched an investigation into the "potential bias incident" on Friday.

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.

In a now-viral video posted by SNJ Today reporter Mike Frankel Thursday, Buena Regional High School wrestler Andrew Johnson was seen having his hair hastily chopped off.

Frankel reported that the referee, identified by as Alan Maloney, would not allow Johnson to wrestle “with a cover over his dreadlocks," despite official rules stating he should have been permitted to do so, and despite his having had done so previously without incident.

Johnson, whom BuzzFeed News could not immediately reach for comment, won his match. Still, he walked off the court looking emotionally defeated.

"It was either an impromptu haircut, or a forfeit," Frankel tweeted. "Johnson chose the haircut, then won by sudden victory in OT to help spark Buena to a win." reported that Maloney had previously used the n-word during an argument with a black referee in 2016.

Deeply disturbed that Andrew Johnson, a student at Buena Regional H.S., was forced to choose between keeping his dreadlocks and competing in a wrestling tournament. No student should have to needlessly choose between his or her identity & playing sports.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, which controls high school sports, said in a statement that it would work with the state authorities during the investigation.

Larry White, the NJSIAA executive director, added that Maloney will be sidelined from matches "until this matter has been thoroughly reviewed."

"Finally, as an African-American and parent — as well as a former educator, coach, official and athlete — I clearly understand the issues at play, and probably better than most," White said. "The NJSIAA takes this matter very seriously, and I ask that everyone respect the investigatory process related to all parties involved."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.