A White wrestling referee who forced a Black teen to cut his dreadlocks has threatened to file a lawsuit after being punished for the act.
In December 2018, Alan Maloney, the referee assigned to a wrestling match between Buena High School and Oakcrest High in Atlantic County, New Jersey, approached wrestler Andrew Johnson and gave him a chocie: cut his dreadlocks or forfeit the match. Johnson arrived with his hair covered in a wrap, but Maloney insisted he cut off his locks in order to compete. Johnson allowed an athletic trainer to cut his locks as attendees watched.
Maloney was reprimanded for the action and was no longer allowed to referee meets. He now believes that he was treated unfairly and is threatening a $100K lawsuit against the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Maloney claims the incident led to defamation of character and emotional distress.
A video of the incident went viral as did Maloney’s history of racism.
In March 2016, Maloney used a racial slur during a gathering of wrestling referees and paid the price. According to Courier-Post, Maloney used the N-word during an argument over homemade wine and was slammed to the ground by a Black ref, Preston Hamilton.
Maloney was reported to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association and agreed to participate in sensitivity training and an alcohol awareness program. Maloney and Hamilton were suspended for a year — Maloney for the using the racial slur, and Hamilton for slamming Maloney to the ground.