Alan Maloney was banned from officiating matches involving the Buena Regional School District in December.
Alan Maloney, the high school wrestling referee who forced a competitor to cut his dreadlocks prior to a match in December, has filed a legal claim alleging defamation of character and emotional distress, according to Sheri Berkery of the Courier-Post.
The Buena Regional School District banned Maloney from officiating matches involving the district while the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association investigated the now-viral incident in which Maloney instructed wrestler Andrew Johnson to either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match.
The tort notice filed by Maloney preserved his right to possibly sue 12 defendants including the Buena school district, Buena athletic director David Albertson, Buena wrestling coach George Maxwell and the NJSIAA.
Maloney was barred from officiating any event while the NJSIAA and New Jersey Division of Civil Rights looked into the matter.
Johnson's attorney Dominic A. Speziali issued a statement to the Courier-Post about Maloney's legal plans.
"To the extent referee Alan Maloney plans to ever file a claim as a victim in this incident is outright absurd," the statement reads. "His description of events misstates the facts and the applicable rules, both of which show that Andrew should have been permitted to wrestle - just as he did four days earlier - without a hair covering, without having to first cut his hair, and without Maloney’s unjustified interference."