Outrage after high school wrestler forced to cut his hair

New Jersey's Division of Civil Rights is launching an investigation after Andrew Johnson, a high school junior, was allegedly forced to cut off his dreadlocks before a wresting match.
2:24 | 12/24/18

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Transcript for Outrage after high school wrestler forced to cut his hair
We begin with the fallout over the high school wrestler forced to cut his air before a wrestling match. Outrage many are calling outright racist. Adrienne Bankert joins us and an investigation is now under way. Reporter: That's right, Amy. Good morning to you. A spokesperson with the athletic association says all teams have agreed to not assign this referee to any event until this investigation is done. This video shows high school junior Andrew Johnson getting his dreadlocks cut off just before competing. The referee allegedly tells Johnson he would forfeit the match if he didn't submit to the haircut. The young wrestler appears visibly upset as his locks are shorn. A teammate is seen trying to console him. Now the team's state division of civil rights is launching an investigation. The video created a firestorm on social media, many calling the episode racist. Ava duvernay tweeted, to watch this young man's ordeal, wrecked me. Also, the governor saying he was deeply disturbed, adding, no student should have to needlessly choose between his or her identity and sports. It's said referees are supposed to meet with both teams about an hour before the competition. He checks each wrestler on each team to make sure they are in accordance with whatever rules would apply when they are out there on the mat, and so for him to allow for this to wrestler to come to the mat and have his hair cut mat-side is something that I have never seen before. Reporter: According to the school district's superintendent, the referee decided Johnson's hair length and head gear violated regulations. That referee, Alan Maloney, has been benched while state officials investigate the matter. On Facebook, the teen's mother writes, he is good now, but that was brutal, emotionally and physically. In the end, Johnson won his match in overtime. Now according to a report by "The courier post," Maloney made comments to an African-American referee, but he said he did not remember using the offensive word, but believed the accounts of witnesses who told him he said it. The video of this young man having his hair cut has been viewed around 12 million times. It is hard to watch and hard to imagine there wasn't another option. All right, Adrienne. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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