Referee in HS wrestling dreadlocks controversy files legal claim notice

Posted: Updated:
WILLIAMSTOWN -

(AP) - A referee who told a New Jersey high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his bout has filed a legal claim preserving his right to a possible lawsuit.

The tort claim notice sent by referee Alan Maloney to a dozen possible defendants alleges $100,000 damages, defamation of character and emotional distress.

Buena Regional student Andrew Johnson had his dreadlocks cut minutes before the Dec. 19 match. Johnson, who is black, had a hair covering, but Maloney, who is white, said that wouldn't do.

RELATED: NJ lawmaker proposes law to require coaches to get sensitivity training 
RELATED: Family of wrestler who cut dreadlocks won't seek legal action 
RELATED: State Civil Rights Division to look into HS wrestler forced to cut dreadlocks 

Maloney has been barred from officiating pending investigations by state civil rights and interscholastic athletic association officials.

In New Jersey, a notice of tort must be filed within 90 days of an incident.

Maloney hasn't responded to requests for comment. The school superintendent declined comment.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."