Flashback: Media Cry 'Racism' After Wrestler Force To Cut Dreads. Here's What They're Not Telling You


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re re-posting it here in case you missed it.

It must be a slow news day.

Media outlets and pundits are losing their minds over a referee enforcing the rules of an amateur sporting event.

This is nothing like the justified outrage over the failure of an umpire such as Angel Hernandez or NFL referees missing just the most blatant of penalties.

This is manufactured outrage over the most low-hanging of fruits. This is identity politics at its most disingenuous and dangerous.

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As the South Jersey Courier-Post reported, New Jersey high school wrestler Andrew Johnson had to cut his dreadlocks at the behest of referee Alan Maloney or forfeit his wrestling match.

To preface this, Maloney might be a terrible person. He reportedly directed a racial slur at an African-American referee in 2016, per the Courier-Post. But Maloney also volunteered to enter both an alcohol awareness program and sensitivity training in response to the incident. So again, might is the operative word. It’s impossible to know what’s truly in a person’s heart.

Maloney did something very wrong, but he apologized and worked to make sure such an incident didn’t happen again.

However, his mistake made him easy fodder for the liberal media and the social justice warriors of the internet, who immediately seized upon it to declare the dreadlock cutting to be the most racist thing ever.

Notice how the liberal media made absolutely sure to include race in their headlines.

TMZ headlined this story “White Ref Forces Black H.S. Wrestler TO CUT DREADLOCKS.”

Newsweek: “Black High School Wrestler Forced To Chop Off Dreadlocks Or Lose Match By White Referee.”

Deadspin: “High School Wrestling Ref Who Called Colleague The N-Word Makes Black Wrestler Cut Off His Dreadlocks.”

That’s to say nothing of the social media warriors who stepped up on their soapboxes to slam the incident. Noted race-baiter Shaun King was one of the most vocal critics to speak out.

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They need to chill out and learn exactly what rules were in place at the time of this incident.

As the Courier-Post notes, “According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, wrestlers’ hair cannot extend past the earlobes. If it does, they must wear a legal hair cap to cover it.”

Oh, Johnson was wearing a cap? Back to the Courier-Post: “Johnson was wearing a cap, but it wasn’t attached to the headgear as the rule requires, according to Buena graduate Ron Roberts, a wrestling referee of more than 20 years.”

Do you think the referee's demand was racist?

“The interpretation of the rule was applied correctly,” Roberts, who hadn’t seen the video but had heard of the incident, told the Post-Courier. “The kid had to have legal head cover by rule or he’s got to cut his hair.”

“It’s the same thing about kids not properly shaving,” he added. “If a kid hasn’t shaved, he has to shave before the match starts. And if he doesn’t, he has a minute and a half to correct it and it’s a point that goes to his opponent.”

Look, I wrestled in high school. I also had long hair in high school. I’ve had to get horribly ugly and impromptu haircuts minutes before a big match to be in compliance with state wrestling rules. It comes with the territory and is a big reason so many wrestlers just go with the shaved head look. Not once during an unscheduled haircut did I ever think to myself, “Gee, this referee must hate Asians.”

It’s absurd and a sad microcosm of the incessant race-baiting in 2018 that this is even going viral. It also says a lot about 2018 that the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association is investigating Maloney for enforcing the rules.

To his credit, Johnson, a junior, won his wrestling match for Buena Regional High School. Again, as someone who’s wrestled, I can attest to the grueling training regimen and hard work wrestlers have to put in.

It’s an unabashed shame that all of Johnson’s efforts and his victory are being overshadowed by the hollow cries of racism that ring all too frequently in 2018.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Phoenix, Arizona
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