In December 2018, New Jersey high school wrestler Andrew Johnson was allegedly told by a referee that if he did not cut off his locks then he would be forced to forfeit the match. This led to a viral video of Johnson's coaches cutting his hair that sparked immediate internet outrage. Now, the official Alan Maloney is threatening to take legal action as he feels he did nothing wrong.
According to TMZ, Maloney released a letter that explains that he's not the one at fault. Rather, he feels people should be mad at the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJIAA). Maloney states that the length of Johnson's hair violated NJIAA's rules. He then went on to detail how he gave the wrestler time to find a hair covering, but one was not available. At this point, Maloney says he adhered to the NJIAA policy of providing "the wrestler with the time to correct the deficiency," which basically means giving the athlete the means to cut his/her hair.
Since he was following NJIAA guidelines, Maloney feels that the association could have done more on his behalf. Yet because the NJIAA has not assigned him to a match since the incident, Maloney claims to have lost a significant amount of income. This in addition to the NJIAA letting rumors of his racist past go unanswered makes the referee feel that he could be entitled to $100,000 in emotional damages. As for now, Maloney has not filed an official lawsuit and it is unsure what he wants the NJIAA to do to stop him from taking things to the courtroom.