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Lagos, NG
8th December 2022

Alan Maloney the referee who cut off a student dreadlock gets a ban

Alan Maloney the referee who cut off a student dreadlock gets a ban
Alan Maloney the referee who cut off a student dreadlock gets a ban

Alan Maloney who was the referee that appeared in a viral video last year, where she was shown cutting off the dreadlocks of a black wrestler in New Jersey, has been hit with a two years suspension.

Alan Maloney had refused to allow the student, Johnson to fight until he cuts off his dreadlocks, and when he said he could not find something to wear and cover over his dreadlocks, Maloney who is white, refused the request of him fighting with the dread. She allegedly told the teenager that he would have to forfeit that day’s match if his dreadlocks were uncovered. Johnson then allowed his dreads to be cut and then went ahead with his fight, which he later won. His teammates congratulated him after his win and tried to console him as he was visibly upset. 

According to CNN, an investigation into the controversial 2018 incident led to an agreement between the Division of Civil Rights and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) to suspend Alan Maloney.

The agreement also calls for implicit bias training for officials and staff involved in high school athletics across New Jersey.

 “This is vindication,” Johnson’s attorney Dominic Speziali told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “This entire incident happened based on nothing he did wrong.”

In December, Maloney told Johnson, a student at Buena Regional High School, to cover his hair or forfeit. Johnson couldn’t find a hair covering that met with the rules.

Faced with a forfeit, the 16-year-old wrestler had a trainer cut his hair. Video of a trainer cutting Jackson’s hair on the mat went viral, prompting criticism from professional athletes and celebrities.

“Racial discrimination in the enforcement of the rules of any sport is inconsistent with the spirit of fair play,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement. “The Division on Civil Rights’ action today makes it less likely that any student-athlete will have to endure discrimination that not only undermines fair competition but also violates our state laws.”

In the memorandum of agreement, the parties note Johnson told the civil rights agency investigator that he didn’t think he would be allowed to wrestle unless he cut his hair, so he told a trainer to cut it.

The trainer asked the referee what to cut, and Alan Maloney allegedly said something like “Cut until I say so,” Johnson told the investigator, according to the memo.

According to the memo, Maloney disputed Johnson’s testimony and told investigators he did not give instructions on how to cut the wrestler’s hair and said it was Johnson’s coach who told the trainer to cut his hair. He said he was not talking with the trainer or the coaches, the agreement says.

A coach, however, told the investigator that the referee did tell the trainer when to stop and then the match took place.

Johnson competed for the rest of the season without a hair cover, after a national official clarified that the rule pertained to length, not hairstyle, the memo says.

Hair-length rules have been changed, said Larry White, the executive director of the NJSIAA, which oversees high school sports in the state.

“We are confident that those changes, together with the training programs NJSIAA will be developing in collaboration with (the civil rights division), will ensure that a situation like this does not happen in the future,” he said.

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