The parents of a 16-year-old Black varsity wrestler whose dreadlocks were ordered cut by his coach have now spoken up–and lawyer’D up as well.
Charles and Rosa Johnson expressed frustration over the conduct of the coach, which “appears more egregious as additional information comes to light”, the couple said through their Philadelphia attorney, Dominic A. Speziali, in a statement obtained by CNN.
Andrew Johnson went on to win the match after his locks were cut and the family says its Andrew’s character that saw him through the shocking personal event which was caught on a viral video that has sparked nationwide attention and sympathy for the teen.
“As we move forward, we are comforted by both the strength of Andrew’s character and the support he’s received from the community,” the Johnsons said.
Coach Alan Maloney decreed that Andrew’s locks would need to be cut or he would forfeit the match. Maloney then directed a White female to use a pair of household scissors to cut Andrew’s hair–to Maloney’s satisfaction, while he stood behind them to oversee the impromptu hairdressing.
Maloney was previously involved in a separate racist incident in which he reportedly called a colleague the “N-word”.
Many on social media questioned why Maloney was still allowed to coach after that incident, while some say they hope the Johnsons sue the school, the school district, the White woman with the scissors, AND the coach too.
Epitome of a team player ⬇️— Mike Frankel (@MikeFrankelSNJ) December 20, 2018
A referee wouldn't allow Andrew Johnson of Buena @brhschiefs to wrestle with a cover over his dreadlocks. It was either an impromptu haircut, or a forfeit. Johnson chose the haircut, then won by sudden victory in OT to help spark Buena to a win. pic.twitter.com/f6JidKNKoI