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ESPN reporting on wrestling referee incident

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16 hours ago, ironmonkey said:

 

How is the rule unfair or racially biased?  It doesn't target any specific race.  You could argue that the rule is unfairly enforced.  However, I see no objective argument that the rule itself is racially biased.  Any athlete can compete with long hair if they have the proper equipment.

 

I don't think the ref from the prior week is a hero or a villain.  I assumed he allowed the athlete to compete because he didn't want him to miss out on the competition which was early in the season and not a major tournament, but I won't pretend to understand what motivates other people without knowing them.  It never occurred to me he was making some sort of social stand.   

It is a racially biased rule, as acknowledged by Askren in is FB live session, in the same way that literacy tests were in the Jim Crow south.  On it's face, it seems harmless enough and even makes sense to try to prevent harm from excessive hair length, just as being able to read doesn't seem like a terrible requirement to cast an intelligent vote.  But in practice, both rules were targeted at people who were "different" from the majority.  In a sport like wrestling, with the joint-manipulating, body-slamming activities, are we seriously worried about someone potentially getting essentially matburned by hair?? The rule has racist implications in practice and intent.  Whether or not the ref was right or wrong to enforce it is a different debate, but there's no denying the long hair rules are antiquated and stupid.  Objectively.

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56 minutes ago, 1032004 said:

No I didn’t miss the point.  I agree with you that the good ole boys network likely exists and might make it difficult for coaches to make complaints about what they believe to be poor officiating.

My point is I’m pretty confident complaints about alleged racism wouid be taken more seriously.

 

The fact that he dropped a n-bomb on a fellow ref in public and still had a job doesn't suggest blatant racism was taken too seriously.

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1 hour ago, npope said:

Here's another example of this racially biased rule in action....oh wait...

 

This once again is neglect by the officials. In this case and the one that is getting the attention this should have been addressed at weigh ins. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Coach_J said:

The fact that he dropped a n-bomb on a fellow ref in public and still had a job doesn't suggest blatant racism was taken too seriously.

That wasn’t in public (not that it really matters), and again my original point was we don’t know if there were additional complaints by coaches after that.  Getting an anonymous complaint of generally poor reffing here or there is one thing, but considering there was already a story in the media about his racism, maybe I’m naive but I’d have to think if there were other complaints of racism (including if they felt it was effecting his reffing) by coaches, they would have been taken seriously.

 

There are a lot of examples of people saying/doing/tweeting racist things and keeping their jobs after apologizing.  See Jimmy Kempski and the at least 3 MLB players that it happened to just this year.

 

That said, I already stated he probably should have lost his job in 2016.  I’m guessing he will now, but hopefully the statement involves something along the lines of “We made a mistake by not relieving him of his duties in 2016 and we should have had a zero tolerance policy for racism.  While his application of this rule was correct, he shouldn’t have been in this position to receive such intense scrutiny.”

 

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3 hours ago, 1032004 said:

 

 

That said, I already stated he probably should have lost his job in 2016.  I’m guessing he will now, but hopefully the statement involves something along the lines of “We made a mistake by not relieving him of his duties in 2016 and we should have had a zero tolerance policy for racism.  While his application of this rule was correct, he shouldn’t have been in this position to receive such intense scrutiny.”

 

I doubt the part of him applying the rule correctly will be said at all. Theres not going to be anything remotely said to give him even the slightest but of leverage. In the eyes of the mass media and twitterverse he is 10000% in the wrong. Saying they're firing him now because of the 2016 incendent opens up a huge can of worms. First the ref then has a legitimate complaint because he was already served and fulfilled his punishment regarding that matter. Second it opens up the organization for attack due to their being negligent for allowing him to continue for the past 2 years. If/when he gets fired it will be because of this event and this event solely.

There are people going after the trainer as well asking why she was cutting so fast and why she had scissors ready to go, as if this was a premeditated event. They have no idea that a trainer is supposed to be ready to go with their tools in an instant and that there was only 90 seconds for him to be medically legal. This ref is done and probably will lose is real day job as well. His employer will not want to deal with the backlash.

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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Just because someone utters an epithet it doesn't necessarily make him a racist. The accusation of racism is thrown around way too much these days, I sometimes wonder if these same accusers really understand the true definition of racist/racism.....

 

 

Flame away....

Edited by KingK0ng
typo correction

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15 minutes ago, KingK0ng said:

Just because someone utters an epithet it doesn't necessarily make him a racist. The accusation of racism is thrown around way too much these days, I sometimes wonder if these same accusers really understand the true definition of racist/racism.....

 

 

Flame away....

Calling a black coworker the N word as an insult is the definition of racist.  

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49 minutes ago, BigTenFanboy said:

I doubt the part of him applying the rule correctly will be said at all. Theres not going to be anything remotely said to give him even the slightest but of leverage. In the eyes of the mass media and twitterverse he is 10000% in the wrong. Saying they're firing him now because of the 2016 incendent opens up a huge can of worms. First the ref then has a legitimate complaint because he was already served and fulfilled his punishment regarding that matter. Second it opens up the organization for attack due to their being negligent for allowing him to continue for the past 2 years. If/when he gets fired it will be because of this event and this event solely.

There are people going after the trainer as well asking why she was cutting so fast and why she had scissors ready to go, as if this was a premeditated event. They have no idea that a trainer is supposed to be ready to go with their tools in an instant and that there was only 90 seconds for him to be medically legal. This ref is done and probably will lose is real day job as well. His employer will not want to deal with the backlash.

No, he will not lose his day job unless he fires himself. He owns a successful automotive shop.

The general consensus among the SJ Wrestling Coaches and Officials is: it is the coaches fault. he knew the head gear was illegal, in fact, an Official reviewed the rules days before the meet at a rules interpretation meeting and specifically told the wrestler his head-cover was illegal due to it not fixed to the headgear. The ref the previous week let it slide but told coach and wrestler it needs to be corrected. 

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8 minutes ago, bp2xbw said:

No, he will not lose his day job unless he fires himself. He owns a successful automotive shop.

The general consensus among the SJ Wrestling Coaches and Officials is: it is the coaches fault. he knew the head gear was illegal, in fact, an Official reviewed the rules days before the meet at a rules interpretation meeting and specifically told the wrestler his head-cover was illegal due to it not fixed to the headgear. The ref the previous week let it slide but told coach and wrestler it needs to be corrected. 

Good to know. Well I can see people protesting and boycotting his business then.

As for the consensus amongst the coaches and officials, unfortunately the rest of the world is really not on their side. The coach/host from The previous competition supposedly said he didnt recall any incendent regarding hair which many in the twitterverse are using as the example of how Maloney should have handled the situation. They don't care what the actual rule is. They dont care that there are plenty of kids that have had their hair cut in the past. This has gotten national attention and the loudest voices do not care what the rule is.

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3 minutes ago, BigTenFanboy said:

Good to know. Well I can see people protesting and boycotting his business then.

As for the consensus amongst the coaches and officials, unfortunately the rest of the world is really not on their side. The coach/host from The previous competition supposedly said he didnt recall any incendent regarding hair which many in the twitterverse are using as the example of how Maloney should have handled the situation. They don't care what the actual rule is. They dont care that there are plenty of kids that have had their hair cut in the past. This has gotten national attention and the loudest voices do not care what the rule is.

Unfortunately, you are %100 correct.

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I legitimately think that 99% of anyone commenting on this subject has ever trained or competed against guys with dreadlocks.  I train with a guy with dreadlocks on a daily basis.  He's tough, I like him, but I really wish he would wear the hair covering.  It destroys my face, and he isnt being a dick about it.  I would seriously question anyone calling it a dumb, archaic rule.  Long hair, yes, its a stupid rule.  Dreadlocks, hard stubble, tons of gel/product, there is a reason for it.  Kids can make their own choices on how they want to wear their hair, but follow the simple rule that keeps your opponent from leaving the mat looking like a raspberry.  There are literally thousands of girls who can figure this rule out every single weekend.  Shouldnt be any tougher for the guys.

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6 hours ago, KingK0ng said:

Just because someone utters an epithet it doesn't necessarily make him a racist. The accusation of racism is thrown around way too much these days, I sometimes wonder if these same accusers really understand the true definition of racist/racism.....

 

 

Flame away....

It sure does if it used in an insulting way to demean somebody because of the color of his skin, which is exactly what he did.  It's not like he used the word in the context of an intellectual discussion about the repercussions of its prevalence in pop culture.  

Edited by Billyhoyle

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Contrary to the assumption many in this thread have, the referee apparently did not follow the rules.  The most recent version of the NFHS rules concerning hair coverings I can find are the 2015-16 NFHS Rules (https://www1.arbitersports.com/Groups/105995/Library/files/Wrestling Notes.pdf). 

According to those rules:

  1. The legal hair cover must be attached to the ear guards.
  2. The wrestler opting to wear a legal hair cover must wear it to the weigh in procedure and be checked for grooming with it on.  The legal hair cover must be removed prior to the wrestler stepping on the scale to be weighed.
  3. If a referee is not present at weigh ins, the hair cover must be checked by the mat referee upon arrival at the site.

Let's assume Johnson's hair cover was not attached to his ear guards. Even if that was so, the referee in this case should have checked the hair cover either at weigh ins or as soon as he arrived at the site. Instead, it appears that the referee checked Johnson's hair covering just before Johnson was set to begin wrestling. And, he only gave Johnson 90 seconds to decide.  (I do not know how the referee decided on 90 seconds.)

The result was that Johnson was forced to make a deeply personal decision about his personal appearance in public, in only 90 seconds, and with his coaches' and teammates' expectations hanging in the balance. And to the extent that those involved and those watching did not understand what dreadlocks can mean for African Americans, it made the situation all the more upsetting.

If the referee had followed the rules as I understand them, Johnson would not have been put into that upsetting position.

Edited by Katie

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Uh oh,  ben askren and jordan Burroughs weighed in on this, nobody else speak your minds in opposition, even if they're both wrong. The long hair rule applies to athletes of every color, stop making non-racist issues into racist ones, you devalue actual examples of racism when you do. Guess what, you also have to clip your fingernails and wear mouthguards if you have braces. Is the latter also inherently racist if, generally speaking, more white individuals are likely to get braces than black individuals? Must be the only explanation for such a rule.. racism.

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Katie, I asked this in the other thread (and never got an actual answer) but please elaborate on what this hairstyle means specifically to the black community. In case you're uninformed that hairstyle has been around for at least 4.5 thousand years and has been used by almost every race and ethnicity over that time.

Generally speaking on equipment, I have always seen officials tell the athletes to get something like this (also facial hair, fingernails, etc.) Taken care of and report back to them. If this was done and the athlete didnt check back in prior it's his fault even more. At the end of the day these kids/coaches should know the rules. Ignorance of the rule of the land is not an excuse for violation of them.

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25 minutes ago, Katie said:

And, he only gave Johnson 90 seconds to decide.  (I do not know how the referee decided on 90 seconds.)

It's a question of improper equipment which starts the injury time clock. Hence, 90 seconds.

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5 hours ago, gimpeltf said:

It's a question of improper equipment which starts the injury time clock. Hence, 90 seconds.

I respectfully disagree.  The rules specifically address how hair covers should be checked.  They must be checked at weigh ins or when the referee arrives at the site.

As far as I know, when a referee fails to check a head cover at the proper time, the failure cannot be remedied by simply giving a wrestler injury time to address a head cover problem.

Edited by Katie

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6 minutes ago, Katie said:

I disagree.  The rules specifically address how hair covers should be checked.  They must be checked at weigh ins or when the referee arrives at the site.

Forcing a wrestler to use injury time in order to address an improper hair cover is simply not contemplated by the rules.

90 seconds would be proper if there were an equipment rule violation (for example wrestler might have shown valid hair covering at weigh in, then stepped on the mat with invalid equipment. Similar to un-taped shoes, or a "undershirt" with baggy sleeves.)

So 90 seconds isn't the point. Not looking at the headgear before the match seems to be the refs big mistake.

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17 minutes ago, Perry said:

Katie, I asked this in the other thread (and never got an actual answer) but please elaborate on what this hairstyle means specifically to the black community. In case you're uninformed that hairstyle has been around for at least 4.5 thousand years and has been used by almost every race and ethnicity over that time.

Generally speaking on equipment, I have always seen officials tell the athletes to get something like this (also facial hair, fingernails, etc.) Taken care of and report back to them. If this was done and the athlete didnt check back in prior it's his fault even more. At the end of the day these kids/coaches should know the rules. Ignorance of the rule of the land is not an excuse for violation of them.

I am not African American, so I can't answer your question from personal experience. For me, it is enough to listen to African Americans who say say that dreadlocks have a deep personal meaning to them.

My understanding, however, is that among African Americans, wearing dreadlocks is a way of reclaiming negative stereotypes about how black people look.

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14 minutes ago, Katie said:

I disagree.  The rules specifically address how hair covers should be checked.  They must be checked at weigh ins or when the referee arrives at the site.

Forcing a wrestler to use injury time in order to address an improper hair cover is simply not contemplated by the rules.

 

This had nothing to do with your specific question of why he picked 90 seconds. 90- seconds is injury time. He chose injury time to fix what he deemed was illegal equipment. The fact of whether he should have done this earlier (to which I agree) is irrelevant to how he chose 90 seconds.

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5 hours ago, gimpeltf said:

 

This had nothing to do with your specific question of why he picked 90 seconds. 90- seconds is injury time. He chose injury time to fix what he deemed was illegal equipment. The fact of whether he should have done this earlier (to which I agree) is irrelevant to how he chose 90 seconds.

I think you are right that the referee chose to use injury time to address Johnson's head cover. 

But my point is this: The rules require a referee to check head covers either at weigh ins or upon arrival at the site.  The referee in this case apparently did not do that. He then apparently proceeded to remedy his failure by simply giving Johnson injury time. I do not believe such a remedy is in the rule book.

Edited by Katie

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1 hour ago, Perry said:

Uh oh,  ben askren and jordan Burroughs weighed in on this, nobody else speak your minds in opposition, even if they're both wrong. The long hair rule applies to athletes of every color, stop making non-racist issues into racist ones, you devalue actual examples of racism when you do. Guess what, you also have to clip your fingernails and wear mouthguards if you have braces. Is the latter also inherently racist if, generally speaking, more white individuals are likely to get braces than black individuals? Must be the only explanation for such a rule.. racism.

It appears you don't know what racism is.  Racism, by definition, involves an imbalance of power.  White people in this country and in this period of time cannot be victims of racism, because there is no imbalance of power involved against them.  You're not alone though, MANY white people use the term "reverse racism" which of course is nonsense as well.  Prejudice, bias, etc., of course - racism, no.

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1 hour ago, Katie said:

Contrary to the assumption many in this thread have, the referee apparently did not follow the rules.  The most recent version of the NFHS rules concerning hair coverings I can find are the 2015-16 NFHS Rules (https://www1.arbitersports.com/Groups/105995/Library/files/Wrestling Notes.pdf). 

According to those rules:

  1. The legal hair cover must be attached to the ear guards.
  2. The legal hair cover must be removed prior to the wrestler stepping on the scale to be weighed.
  3. If a referee is not present at weigh ins, the hair cover must be checked by the mat referee upon arrival at the site.

Let's assume Johnson's hair cover was not attached to his ear guards. Even if that was so, the referee in this case should have checked the hair cover either at weigh ins or as soon as he arrived at the site. Instead, it appears that the referee checked Johnson's hair covering just before Johnson was set to begin wrestling. And, he only gave Johnson 90 seconds to decide.  (I do not know how the referee decided on 90 seconds.)

The result was that Johnson was forced to make a deeply personal decision about his personal appearance in public, in only 90 seconds, and with his coaches' and teammates' expectations hanging in the balance. And to the extent that those involved and those watching did not understand what dreadlocks can mean for African Americans, it made the situation all the more upsetting.

If the referee had followed the rules as I understand them, Johnson would not have been put into that upsetting position.

The family of the wrestler are saying that the referee was late to the venue and did not attend the weigh-in:  http://highschoolsports.nj.com/news/article/-7814930746452552621/family-of-wrestler-forced-to-cut-dreadlocks-under-duress-blames-late-ref/

Quote

 

Speziali, of the J. Fine Law Group, the family’s attorney, said they are awaiting the results of an inquiry by the N.J. Division of Civil Rights and that the referee’s conduct appears more egregious as additional information comes to light.

Speziali stated, “The scholastic wrestling rules clearly state that referees are to inspect wrestlers’ appearance and determine any rules violations prior to the start of the meet, typically during weigh-ins. The referee here was late to the meet and missed weigh-ins. When he did evaluate Andrew, he failed to raise any issues with the length of his hair or the need to wear a head covering.”

The statement said Maloney rejected Johnson's hair cover when he took the mat. Andrew then requested he be allowed to push his hair back as he did the weekend prior, but the referee again refused because "it wasn't in its natural state," referring to the dreadlocks as "braids."

 

 

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26 minutes ago, tigerfan said:

It appears you don't know what racism is.  Racism, by definition, involves an imbalance of power.  White people in this country and in this period of time cannot be victims of racism, because there is no imbalance of power involved against them.  You're not alone though, MANY white people use the term "reverse racism" which of course is nonsense as well.  Prejudice, bias, etc., of course - racism, no.

I don't know where you get your definition from, but I just took ten minutes to search the internet for various definitions of racism and have yet to find one that describes it as an "imbalance of power." Certainly, there might be such a definition somewhere, but there are a multitude of other definitions on the topic that don't mention such imbalances of power. So, at the least, your notion that there can be no discrimination against a majority is questionable. But more to the point, words are just words - if prejudice is evident (or bias, or racism, or whatever you choose to call it), it is not good. A more commonly accepted definition of racism is the differing treatment of a specific group/individual based on their race - period. If that is an acceptable definition, then indeed, white people in the US can be discriminated against.

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