Alan Maloney, a high school wrestling referee in New Jersey who called another referee the n-word in an incident two years ago, this week told a black teen from Buena High School that he couldn’t wear a cover over his dreadlocks during a wrestling meet, and that he would have to forfeit or cut them off. The wrestler, Andrew Johnson, decided to cut off his dreadlocks, right there on the mat.
The story has been going around the internet today thanks to this tweet from SNJ Sports Director Mike Frankel, who framed footage of a distraught Johnson getting his hair chopped off as an example of great team spirit:
That’s one way to view the incident, another is to see a teenager forced to live through a humiliating moment because some dipshit referee who likes to use the n-word didn’t approve of his hairstyle.
Maloney’s previous racist incident ocurred on March 25, 2016, when he called a fellow referee the n-word. The Courrier Post wrote about the incident in October of that year:
Over a disagreement about homemade wine, said Preston Hamilton, who is African American, fellow referee Alan Maloney poked his finger in his chest and hurled the epithet.
Maloney told the Courier-Post he does not remember using the word at all, let alone directing it at Hamilton, but believes the accounts of witnesses who told him he said the word.
Hamilton told the Courier-Post he responded by slamming Maloney, who is white, to the ground.
Both men were suspended for one year, but both suspensions were overturned after appeals. Why he’s still allowed to referee high school matches and empowered to force a black teenager to cut off his hair is anybody’s guess.
I emailed the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association for comment and will update if I hear back.