The high school wrestling referee who told a black wrestler to cut his dreadlocks in order to compete has been suspended for TWO SEASONS over the incident, officials announced.
As we previously reported, referee Alan Maloney (who is white) told 16-year-old Andrew Johnson (who is black) to either cut off his dreadlocks or forfeit a Dec. 2018 match.
Johnson — who was only given 90 seconds to make his decision — opted for the haircut … and video of the shameful moment went viral.
Now, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association has said the incident has been investigated in association with the NJ division on Civil Rights and they agreed on a 2-year suspension.
“Student athletes should be able to compete with each other on a level playing field,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement.
“Racial discrimination in the enforcement of the rules of any sport is inconsistent with the spirit of fair play. The Division on Civil Rights’ action today makes it less likely that any student athlete will have to endure discrimination that not only undermines fair competition but also violates our state laws.”
Rachel Wainer Apter, a division director for the civil rights division, labelled Maloney’s actions as “discrimination” and “a persistent form of anti-Black racism.”
“This guidance makes clear that employers, housing providers and places of public accommodation cannot police Black hair. And the [decision] will ensure that high school athletes across the State can focus on being their best, not worrying that their hair will subject them to differential treatment based on race.”
For his part, Maloney has always insisted he was simply enforcing state rules pertaining to hair and did nothing wrong.
Back in March, he sent a letter to the NJSIAA saying he was planning on filing a defamation lawsuit against the organization.