A lawyer for a high school wrestler whose dreadlocks were cut off minutes before his match after a referee told him to lose the hairstyle or forfeit his bout is suggesting the impromptu hair cut was due in part to the referee’s tardiness.

Andrew Johnson, who is black, had a cover over his hair, but referee Alan Maloney , who is white, said that wouldn’t do. Johnson won Wednesday’s match but appeared visibly distraught.

The Press of Atlantic City reports Dominic Speziali issued a statement Monday in which Andrew Johnson’s parents said Maloney didn’t attend the weigh-in that day. They also say that when Maloney evaluated the teen before the match, he didn’t raise any issues with the length of his hair or the need to wear a head covering.

Maloney didn’t respond to a request for comment Monday.

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Source: The Associated Press

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