Olympic and world champion wrestler Jordan Burroughs offered support for high school wrestler Andrew Johnson and criticized referee Alan Maloney after the official ordered the athlete to cut his dreadlocks prior to the Buena High School student's 120-pound match in a dual meet with Oakcrest in New Jersey or else forfeit.
Burroughs provided a Twitter thread (h/t the Associated Press, via ESPN.com) on the controversy, most notably writing that he felt the official's actions were a "combination of an abuse of power, racism, and just plain negligence."
He also posted an Instagram video, in part criticizing the parents and coaching staff for not intervening enough to support Johnson in the moment.
Mike Frankel, the sports director of SNJ Today News, provided footage and details of the incident:
Mike Frankel @MikeFrankelSNJ
Epitome of a team player ⬇️ 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. https://t.co/f6JidKNKoI
Larry White, the executive director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, released a statement in part saying "groups that assign high school wrestling referees in New Jersey will not assign the referee in question until this matter has been thoroughly reviewed."