Activists Demand Permanent Removal of Referee Who Forced High School Wrestler to Cut Dreadlocks Before Match - NBC New York

Activists Demand Permanent Removal of Referee Who Forced High School Wrestler to Cut Dreadlocks Before Match

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Protesters Want Wrestling Referee Banned

    Activists are calling for the wrestling referee who forced a high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks before a match to be permanently banned from the sport. Jen Maxfield reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019)

    What to Know

    • NJ activists demand permanent removal of the referee involved in forcing a high school wrestler to cut dreadlocks before match or forfeit

    • Activists are scheduled gather at the headquarters of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Tuesday afternoon

    • The group is also calling the state legislature to provide oversight of the NJSIAA, which they feel turned a "blind eye" in incident

    Members of New Jersey's activist community are demanding the permanent removal of the referee involved in forcing a high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks before a match or forfeit.

    Walter Hudson of the National Awareness Alliance and other activists are scheduled to gather at the headquarters of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) in Robbinsville Tuesday afternoon.

    The group is gathering to demand the permanent termination of referee Alan Maloney as well as to call the state legislature to provide oversight of the NJSIAA, an entity they feel has turned a "blind eye" to the incident.

    In late December 2018, Johnson, a black high school wrestler in Atlantic County, was forced by Maloney to either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit a wrestling match. With mere seconds to think about the decision, Johnson chose the haircut. The incident was caught on video and has gone viral sparking community outrage. 

    Wrestler Forced to Cut Dreadlocks Still Being Targeted, Attorney Says | News 4 Now

    [NY] Wrestler Forced to Cut Dreadlocks Still Being Targeted, Attorney Says | News 4 Now
    A New Jersey high school wrestler who was forced to cut off his dreadlocks before a match by a white referee to avoid forfeiting was asked to cover his hair before another match this week — the result of an "unrelenting fixation" on the boy’s hair by wrestling officials, his attorney claims. Buena Regional High School junior Andrew Johnson, 16, and his team were supposed to compete in a wrestling meet on Wednesday, attorney Dominic Speziali said in a letter sent to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, which is investigating the December incident. Anchor Stefan Holt also reports on a man who shot and killed an intruder, an arrest in a rape in the Bronx and a construction mishap in Manhattan
    (Published Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019)

    Rev. Edward Townsend, the associate pastor of the Greater Mount Teman A.M.E. Church in Elizabeth, feels Maloney should've resigned or been permanently banned from officiating after the controversial incident, according to a statement regarding the scheduled conference.

    Since then, Johnson, 16, has been asked to cover his hair before another match this month as a result of an "unrelenting fixation" on the boy's hair by wrestling officials, his attorney Dominic Speziali said.

    NJSIAA did not immediately respond to News 4 request for comment.

    However, in a statement released Jan. 9, NJSIAA maintained it “shares the public’s desire for a speedy resolution to this important matter, [but] also is strongly committed to taking as much time as necessary to ensure that all aspects of the situation have been assessed.”

    “As we previously noted, the referee in question [Alan Maloney] will not be assigned to matches until this matter has been thoroughly reviewed,” NJSIAA said. “This will help to avoid disruption of events for student athletes.”

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