Olympic wrestler slams high school wrestler’s haircut
BUENA, N.J. (AP) — An Olympic champion wrestler has reached out to a New Jersey high school wrestler who had his dreadlocks cut off minutes before his match after a referee told him to lose the hairstyle or forfeit his bout.
Jordan Burroughs, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion, called Wednesday’s incident at the Buena Regional High School match “nonsense” and said he’d never seen anything like it in a quarter-century of wrestling.
Burroughs called it “a combination of an abuse of power, racism, and just plain negligence.” He also criticized parents and coaching staff at the match for not intervening.
Andrew Johnson, who is black, had a cover over his hair, but referee Alan Maloney, who is white, said that wouldn’t do. Johnson won Wednesday’s match but appeared visibly distraught.