Referee Alan Maloney, who forced a New Jersey wrestler to cut his dreadlocks prior to match Wednesday, has been banned from officiating matches involving the Buena Regional School District, according to the Daily News.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association is investigating the incident in which Maloney determined Andrew Johnson's head cover for his dreadlocks did not meet regulations and then forced Johnson to either cut his hair or forfeit the match.
Buena Regional School District superintendent David Cappuccio Jr. issued a statement obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer that stated the school and the district played no role in getting Johnson to cut his hair. He also informed the NJSIAA Assistant Director "that, although the investigation in the matter is ongoing, the assigned referee will no longer be permitted to officiate any contests that include any Buena Regional School District student-athletes."
"Regulations regarding hair length and legal hair covers for wrestlers are provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations," a statement from the organization reads. "At this point NJSIAA is working to determine the exact nature of the incident."
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy, state assemblyman John Armato and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union have all criticized Maloney for his actions that many are calling racist and discriminatory.
In 2016, Maloney was accused of directing a racial slur at another official who was black. He was initially suspended but had the punishment overturned after an appeal.