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High school wrestler told to cut dreadlocks or lose bout

December 21, 2018

BUENA, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey high school wrestler had his dreadlocks cut off minutes before his match after a referee told him to lose the hairstyle or forfeit his bout.

A South Jersey Today reporter tweeted video of Buena Regional High School wrestler Andrew Johnson getting his hair cut court-side. He went on to win Wednesday’s match, but appeared visibly distraught.

Johnson, who is black, had a cover over his hair, but the referee Alan Maloney, who is white, said that wouldn’t do.

The state’s Interscholastic Athletic Association says they are recommending Maloney not be assigned to any event until the matter has been reviewed more thoroughly.

They say they have contacted the state Division on Civil Rights.

A woman answering the phone at a listed number for Maloney says the ordeal is being blown out of proportion.

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