Ref Forces High School Wrestler to Cut His Dreadlocks or Forfeit Match

Buena Regional High School wrestler Andrew Johnson had a difficult choice to make.

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Wrestler Andrew Johnson had his dreadlocks cut in order to continue competing. (Mike Frankel/Twitter)

When given a choice between losing his dreads or losing his match by a referee in New Jersey, a Buena Regional High School wrestler opted for the former.

While facing off against Oakcrest High School on Wednesday, Andrew Johnson was forced to make the choice thanks to referee Alan Maloney.

Johnson arrived at the match with his dreads wrapped up but apparently that wasn’t enough to satisfy the concerns of Maloney.

The move paid off for Johnson as he was able to pull off an overtime victory to help Buena pick up the 41-24 overall win.

Many saw racial overtones in Maloney forcing Johnson to choose between his har and his team – with good cause.

In 2016, Maloney allegedly directed a racial slur at an African-American referee during a social event for officials where alcohol was being served.

When the other referee reported the incident, Maloney agreed to participate in sensitivity training and an alcohol awareness program. He was also set to be suspended from refereeing for a year but that suspension was overturned on appeal.

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