Opinion: Lifetime ban is only acceptable option for wrestling ref Alan Maloney after making Andrew Johnson cut dreads
23rd December 2018

You might have heard the appalling news: A high school wrestling referee in New Jersey on Wednesday made a wrestler choose between cutting his dreadlocks or forfeiting his match.

Fortunately, it’s a teachable moment.

To teach kids about racial and cultural sensitivity.

To teach kids about responsibility.

To teach kids about accountability.

Of course here's how: make sure the referee, Alan Maloney, never again officiates a high school athletic event.

And in the meantime, let’s keep a close eye on the the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The association has said it is investigating the incident and will recommend "to chapter officials that the referee in question not be assigned to any event until this matter has been reviewed more thoroughly in order to avoid potential distractions for the competing wrestlers."

That’s all good and well, but the investigation better be quick because what happened is clear: A white referee gave an ultimatum to an African-American high school wrestler, Andrew Johnson.

The photograph of Johnson having his dreadlocks cut before he competed and won his match is stomach turning.

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