Andrew Johnson during a forced haircut

Michael Frankel/SNJTODAY.COM via AP

NJ Ref Who Told HS Wrestler To Cut Dreadlocks Plans To Sue For Defamation, Lost Wages

March 20, 2019 - 10:51 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The New Jersey high school wrestling referee at the center of a controversy involving a wrestler's dreadlocks is now taking steps toward filing a lawsuit.

Court paperwork indicates that Alan Maloney claims he has been subject to emotional distress, character defamation and alleges $100,000 loss in income ever since a ruling he made went viral last December.

He told Buena High School wrestler Andrew Johnson to either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match after ruling that the hair covering the teen was wearing wouldn't do. Viral video shows the 16-year-old student reluctantly getting his dreadlocks cut off.

Maloney has yet to officiate a match since the incident because it is currently under investigation by state civil rights and Interscholastic Athletic Association officials.

In the document, Maloney tries to defend himself, saying that he was fairly following the rules that govern a wrestling match and names 12 possible defendants including the Buena Regional High School athletics director, school board members and officials in the states' high school sports governing organization.

Both Maloney and the school superintendent have made no comments.