“Wrestling has taught Andrew to be resilient in the face of adversity."
The video of Buena Regional High School student Andrew Johnson having his dreads cut off before a wrestling match went viral for obvious reasons. Andrew was told by the referee that he had to cut his locks or he would forfeit the fame. Since the clip of him having a woman chop away at his hair went viral, the referee who imposed the rule has since been suspended as an investigation is underway.
According to USA Today, the parents of Andrew, Charlesand Rosa Johnson, are extremely grateful for the support of their son has received. “Andrew has been deeply moved by the thunderous outpouring of unsolicited support — including from an Olympic wrestler, leading civil rights advocates and elected officials — after the shocking pre-match ultimatum,” a statement from the parents read.
“Wrestling has taught Andrew to be resilient in the face of adversity. As we move forward, we are comforted by both the strength of Andrew’s character and the support he’s received from the community. We will do all that we can to make sure that no student-athlete is forced to endure what Andrew experienced.”
When the incident first went viral, The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association released the following statement:
“Regulations regarding hair length and legal hair covers for wrestlers are provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations. At this point, the NJSIAA is working to determine the exact nature of the incident and whether an infraction occurred.”