ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) — The Kentucky Waterfall. Mississippi Mudflap. Canadian Passport. The old “10-90.”
It’s a distinct haircut with many nicknames, but one definitive name is known by all: The mullet. And a 7-year-old in Arab, Alabama, is using his to compete in a national championship and “shake the hate.”
Fairview Elementary student Ezra Cramer is officially in the home stretch of the USA Mullet Championship, an online contest to find the best mullets in the United States.
Ezra is in the final round of competition with just 24 other competitors standing in his way. That’s down from the initial 500 applicants and a first-round cut down to 100 kids.
“We had some photos that went viral in July… Several people after the photos went viral say that ‘you have to enter him in this’,” said Ezra’s mother, Kaleigha Cramer. “And he’s the only one from Alabama in the finals.”
According to the public Facebook group supporting Ezra’s journey, Cramer posted, “Ezra has always had long hair and most recently within the last year, has decided to have it cut into a mullet – just like his favorite singers: Morgan Wallen, Joe Diffie, and Blake Shelton.”
“People are always commenting on my hair, and my mom signed it up for me,” Ezra said. “I think it looks pretty cool…”
Cramer said Ezra has experienced bullying both online and in school for his haircut, but she always reminds him to just be himself.
“[Ezra] has had comments made to him from adults, from kids … because he’s always had long hair, we’ve just kind of let him do his own thing,” said Cramer. “Once we got the call that he was going to be in the finals, we talked about all of these mean comments. We just say, ‘Ya know, you just gotta shake it off.’”
To promote their “shake the hate” message, the Cramers sold shirts to spread awareness, with $2 from each shirt donated to Stomp Out Bullying in honor of Ezra’s mullet competition journey.
Cramer is hoping that wearing the shirts on Oct. 5, the day voting begins for the USA Mullet Championship, will not only spread Ezra’s message but also push him over the finish line.
The USA Mullet Championships was started by its president, Kevin Begola, in early 2020 in an effort to find the best “Michigan Mudflap.” More than 130 people showed up to Begola’s store, Bridge Street Exchange, where the first contest was held. The Top 10 contenders even aired on ESPN earlier this year.
The kids’ competition started later that year.
“We are finding the best mullets in America and having some fun along the way,” Begola said. “We try to raise some money for charity as well, with half of the $10 entry fees going to a children’s hospital in Michigan.”
Cramer said Ezra plans to keep the mullet no matter what happens in the competition.
“He is going to keep it,” Cramer concluded. “He can keep it as long as he wants. If he decides to shave that head, it’s just hair.”
To vote for Ezra in the finals of the USA Mullet Championship, click here. Voting runs through Oct. 11.