Wrestling Referee Has Student Athlete Cut His Hair Or Be Disqualified

A wrestling student was told that he would either have to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit the match, and now the referee who made the call is under fire.

By DAVID on December 26, 2018
(Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Andrew Johnson is a high-schooler on his school’s wrestling team. During a match before Christmas, he was pulled aside by a referee, and told to either cut his hair, or face a disqualification. He chose to cut his hair and went on to win the match, despite being visibly upset.

It’s sparking a controversy though, and there’s a lot happening pretty fast. The school board has called for an “emergency meeting” today to try and review what exactly happened. Here’s a brief on what happened. The student showed up for the wrestling match with dreadlocked hair. Not long hair, mind you, but maybe a few inches long, standing up on top of his head and flowing back down his neck. His hair appeared to be a gray-area on the rules, at least from what I saw in the video.

Here’s the problem though – the referee is being accused of racism. To start, here are the rules about hair. Hair must not extend down past the top of a shirt collar. Hair must not hang lower than the eyebrows, and hair must not “extend below earlobe level.” Ultimately, hair coverings “must fit snug against the wrestler’s body.” The referee told the student to either cut his hair or forfeit the match. Not wanting to forfeit, the student made the decision to have his hair cut by an official. The family has a lawyer saying the haircut wasn’t necessary, and many are accusing the referee’s actions of being “racially motivated.” Friends of the student say that his hair has always been that way. It never seemed to be a problem until this one event, though. Here’s the original story.

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