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High School Wrestling Ref Who Forced Teen To Cut His Dreadlocks Preparing To Sue For "Emotional Distress"

The New Jersey high school wrestling referee, who forced a teen to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit a wrestling match in December, has begun the process of filing a lawsuit, claiming that he suffered “emotional distress” and “defamation of character” in the aftermath of the incident, according to The Inquirer, which reported the news yesterday.


The referee in question, Alan Maloney, who is also known for calling another referee the n-word in an incident two years ago, sent a notice of tort claim, filed on his own behalf, to 12 possible defendants earlier this month, alleging that he has suffered $100,000 in damages. The Inquirer continued:

The notice, dated March 6 and received by officials last week, says Maloney has not been scheduled to officiate since December. A referee gets about $84 to officiate a varsity match.

Maloney, who was banned from officiating any meets pending the results of two ongoing investigations into the December incident, claimed he properly performed his duties when he told Andrew Johnson, a black varsity wrestler, that his hair covering was not in accordance with regulations and that he would have to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit.


“I think he’s just covering his bases,” Dominic Speziali, a Philadelphia lawyer who represents Johnson and his family, told The Inquirer. “To the extent that he plans to file a claim as a victim in this incident is outright absurd.”

The newspaper wrote that Maloney’s attorney and fellow wrestling coach, Ralph Paolone, did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

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