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Home / Sports / The black wrestler's family, who was forced to cut off his dreadlocks, speaks out

The black wrestler's family, who was forced to cut off his dreadlocks, speaks out



Charles and Rosa Johnson, through their lawyer Dominic A. Speziali, said that the referee's behavior, which forced his son Andrew to cut his hair, "seems more anxious" as additional information came to light.

They claim that the referee was late for the meeting and did not question his son's hair or the need for a headgear during the first evaluation.

The referee did not immediately respond to CNN's requests on Tuesday

The referee later told Andrew that his hair and headgear were not in line with the league regulations, Speziali said in the statement.

Andrew told the referee that he could push his hair back, Speziali said, but the referee declined because Andrew's hair "was not in its natural state."

So he issued an ultimatum: cut off the locks or forfeit the match, and Andrew decided to have his hair cut instead of giving up the match, according to a letter Superintendent David Cappuccio Jr. from the School District

A video of a coach standing in the middle of the turn Hall Andrews had cut hair with scissors, was quickly viral on Friday was shared by a local reporter from South New Jersey Today.

"The referee is behind them and tells them to continue cutting until he's satisfied with the length," Speziali says in the statement.

The wrestler won the match by a sudden victory in overtimeSNJToday

A teenage-haired teenager before the infamous match

Andrew's parents said that wrestling taught him to be resilient in the face of adversity. "

  Andrew Johnson

" As we move forward, we are comforted by both the strength of Andrew's character and by the consolation he has received from the C community, "they said.

"The blame lies primarily with the arbitrator," Speziali said in the statement, "and those who allowed him to continue despite clear evidence of a disqualifying racial transgression in that role."

At previous tournaments a week ago, Speziali said Andrew had struggled without any problems.

According to the NFHS Wrestling Rulebook, a wrestler's hair can not fall under the top of a shirt collar in the back, under the earlobes on the sides or under the eyebrows. 19659002] If this is longer than the rule allows The wrestler must braid his hair or hide under a hair cover attached to his earmuffs, it says

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association's (NJSIAA) senior executive, Larry White, said in a statement that state authorities initiate investigations into the incident.

The referee is not assigned to moderate games until the incident has been "thoroughly checked," White said.

"Finally, as an African-American American and parent – as well as a former educator, coach, official and athlete – I clearly understand the issues that are in the game and probably better than most others," added White.

In a statement on Friday evening, a spokeswoman for New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal's office said it was a civil society rights division opened an investigation into the incident as part of a 2013 agreement with NJSIAA "to investigate potential To combat distortions in university sports. "

Reactions of professional athletes

Andrew's video of having his hair cut Scissors in the gym have provoked outrage.

Jordan Burroughs, a four-time World Champion and 2012 Olympic champion, posted a thread on Twitter in which he commented on his pride in Andrew and his disgust at the situation.

"I've wrestled on every level for 25 years, and I've never seen anyone who has to cut their hair during a game," Burroughs tweeted. "In my opinion, this was a combination of abuse of power, racism and sheer negligence."

Burroughs also commented on how Andrew's hair was part of his identity and that the coaches and parents of the Buena Wrestling team should have done more to protect Andrew.

Aljamain Sterling, a UFC fighter, also commented on the incident.

"The epitome of overdose in power! Smh. I'm glad that the boy won the game after giving such a sacrifice for what the vendetta had against him, the team or" other "arguments. That was NOT OK! Embarrassing, "read his tweet.

CNN's Carma Hassan and Dakin Andone have contributed to this report.


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