Last week, a referee told a New Jersey high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match.
The Buena Regional school board held an emergency meeting Wednesday and decided that the school will not compete in events where referee Alan Maloney officiates. The groups that place officials said they won't assign Maloney until further notice, reports the Associated Press.
Dominic A. Speziali, an attorney representing wrestler Andrew Johnson and his family, said the high schooler will not participate in Buena's match on Thursday as officials investigate last week's incident. The high school's wrestling coach and athletic trainers were scheduled to discuss the incident with the board behind closed doors Wednesday, reports WCAU-TV.
On Dec. 19, Maloney gave Johnson, who had his hair covered, the ultimatum minutes before his match began. Johnson opted for the last minute haircut and won his match. Maloney's actions sparked outrage after SNJ Today Sports Director Mike Frankel tweeted out video of the incident and the story gained national attention.
Epitome of a team player ⬇️— Mike Frankel (@MikeFrankelSNJ) 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
In 2016, Maloney was accused of directing a racial slur at another referee, who then slammed him to the ground, at a private gathering. Maloney was suspended one year for his use of the slur, while the other official received the same suspension for assaulting Maloney. However, both officials appealed their suspensions, which were overturned, per NJ.com.