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Referee forces black high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks; video leaves Netizens angry

Before the duel started in the 120-lbs, Buena Regional High School junior Andrew Johnson was reprimanded for the hairstyle, and the referee told the boy that he couldn’t wear dreadlocks under his cap.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | December 22, 2018 8:45:49 pm
racism, white referee force black kid to cut dreads, referee ask black wrestler to cut dreadlock, USA racism, viral news, indian express, NJ wrestling racism, NJ wrestling tournament dreadlocks, The incident started a debate about racism online. (Source: Mike Frankel/ Twitter)

During a high school wrestling tournament in New Jersey, USA, a black student was asked by the referee to cut off his dreadlocks or forfeit the match. The young teen decided to get a quick haircut before the match, which he later won in the overtime. Now, footage of a woman trimming his dreads are going viral and has left netizens fuming online.

Before the duel started in the 120-lbs category, Buena Regional High School junior Andrew Johnson was reprimanded for the hairstyle, and the referee told the boy that he couldn’t wear dreadlocks under his cap, reported SNJ Today. Mike Frankel, the SNJ Today reporter, documented the incident and shared it online later, prompting anger and frustration on social media as the footage showed the young athlete standing visibly upset as other teammates approach him to show their support and love.

The referee–who TMZ identified as Alan Maloney–has a history of racist behavior. He had earlier used a racial slur towards a black man during a social gathering in 2016, TMZ reported.

Activist Shaun King, who shared the video and helped it to draw more attention, slammed the referee, calling the incident “disgusting and heartbreaking,” and said it “never should’ve been allowed.”

The American Civil Liberties Union’s New Jersey chapter responded by tweeting that, “This is not about hair. This is about race. How many different ways will people try to exclude Black people from public life without having to declare their bigotry?”

After the clip went viral, Frankel, who initially documented the incident, explained on Twitter that the coaches argued with the referee for several minutes before the young player decided to cut his hair.

The incident irked many online and called the referee’s behaviour as racist and questioned under what rules and regulation was the black kid subjected to this humiliation.

After the incident triggered a lot of flak online, Larry White, the executive director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association said in a statement that the referee would not work any more events as it investigated the issue, NJ.com reported.

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