Ref who told wrestler to cut dreadlocks barred for 2 seasons

The Associated Press

Trenton, N.J. – A referee who told a New Jersey high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit a match last year has been suspended for two seasons.

The state Division on Civil Rights and state’s athletic association announced the sanction Wednesday.

Buena (BYOO’-nah) Regional student Andrew Johnson, who is black, had been wearing a hair covering. But referee Alan Maloney, who is white, said he had to cut his hair or forfeit the match last December.

In this image made from a, Dec. 19, 2018 video provided by SNJTODAY.COM, Buena Regional High School wrestler Andrew Johnson, right, is declared the winner by referee Alan Maloney, left, after his match in in Buena, N.J. Before the match a Mahoney told Johnson he would forfeit his bout if he didn't have his dreadlocks cut off.

Also Wednesday, the state mandated bias training for high school sports officials and staff.

Maloney had been barred from officiating while an investigation proceeded. In March, he filed notice that he planned to sue for defamation and emotional distress.

His lawyer did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment on Wednesday.