Photo: Twitter/Mike Frankel/SNJ Today
In case you’ve been living under a rock over the past week and a half, one of the biggest stories in media has been about a black high school wrestler was told by a white referee to cut his hair, or he would forfeit his wrestling match. And the whole event was captured on video and has since gone viral.
Andrew Johnson was about to compete in a wrestling competition for Buena Regional High School in New Jersey. Johnson was sporting a cover over his dreadlocks getting ready to wrestle when referee Alan Maloney intervened.
Maloney informed Johnson that his hair cover was not legal and presented him with two options. He could cut off his dreadlocks, or he would forfeit the match.
Johnson decided to cut his hair, but from his body language in the video below, you can tell he was agitated.
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
Johnson defeated his opponent but was still devastated that he had to cut his hair. When the ref raised his hand after he won Johnson was seemed very disinterested. Johnson’s teammates tried to console him, but it looked like nothing that they said could bring him out of his current mood.
According to TMZ, this is not the first event referee Alan Maloney has been involved in that resulted in racist behavior. In 2016, Maloney used a racial towards a black man during a social gathering, and it caused an altercation.
The man that was in the altercation with Maloney was an African American male and slammed him following the racial slur. Maloney would later apologize for the incident, and the board in New Jersey that oversees high school sports order him to complete a sensitivity course.
Sports Director at SNJ Today News Mike Frankel was on the reporter on scene and tweeted the viral video featuring referee Alan Maloney and Andrew Johnson. Frankel was recently on the Scoop B Podcast with its host Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson. The two reporters discussed the latest incident involving the story of South NJ Buena Regional High School wrestler, Andrew Johnson. Also the two dive into the aftermath relation from social media users. The full interview between Robinson and Frankel can be heard here.