Referee who forced Buena wrestler to cut dreadlocks claims ‘emotional distress’ from incident

Photo: Michael Frankel, AP

Referee who forced Buena wrestler to cut dreadlocks claims ‘emotional distress’ from incident

Wrestling

Referee who forced Buena wrestler to cut dreadlocks claims ‘emotional distress’ from incident

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Buena Regional (N.J.) High School wrestler Andrew Johnson was thrust into the national spotlight in December when the athlete was forced to cut his dreadlocks prior to a match, due to a decision by referee Alan Maloney.

Now, Maloney, who has since been sidelined as a high school wrestling referee, is claiming that he lost $100,000 in damages and suffered emotional distress as a result of his officiating decision, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

In a notice originally obtained by The Inquirer, Maloney said he “properly performed his duties as the referee and fairly applied the rules governing a wrestling match” when it came to the decision to make Johnson cut his hair or forfeit the match.

The Division on Civil Rights and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) have yet to complete investigations on the incident.

Johnson cut his dreadlocks, and looked distressed in having to do so. He went on to win that match in December in sudden victory in overtime.

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