One New Jersey school district said their wrestling team will be boycotting sporting events officiated by a referee who reportedly made a black wrestler cut his locs or forfeit his match.
According to CBS News, the Buena Regional school board made their announcement a week after one of their students, Andrew Johnson, 16, was forced to cut his hair minutes before his December 19 match as referee Alan Maloney, who is white, determined that a cover for his hair was inadequate. The Board of Education made their decision following an emergency meeting attended by people from all over South Jersey.
TMZ reported that Johnson was given 90 seconds to cut his hair or lose his match. The varsity wrestler obliged and footage of his hair being cut on the sidelines quickly went viral. Since then, Maloney’s camp claimed he was following protocol and that he wasn’t discriminating against the teen.
The Board made the decision following Wednesday’s emergency meeting attended by people from all over South Jersey. Votes weren’t taken but the Board heard comments from the public.
WPVI reported that Buena was one of 16 schools that participated in a Thursday morning tournament. However, Johnson is said to have not attended due to the media attention surrounding the December 19 incident. Maloney reportedly wasn’t in attendance either.
Reports indicated that the Buena Regional High School student doesn’t plan to pursue legal action.
Buena Regional School District Superintendent David Cappuccio said of the referee, “He’s done working with our district.”
[Featured image: YouTube video screengrab]