Louisiana bill would punish spectators who threaten referees and umpires

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(WWL.com) – Metairie Representative Cameron Henry files a bill that could lead to fines, community service and possibly jail time for anyone who harasses refs, umpires, and other game officials.  Henry says officials at a recreational park in his district are occasionally threatened with physical harm.

“This is a preventative measure that will hopefully allow the officer to take the parent off to the side and say hey look take a breath, breathe, we don’t want to have to arrest you for this threat, why don’t you calm down and came to the game in a little bit.”

Henry says it’s not the hecklers or those that might passionately contest a call that are the problem.

“It is that one or two parents that take it to the next level that either decides to get in the referees face at the field or in the parking lot and threatening physical violence against them because a call that the parent perceives as a missed call.”

Henry says often it is high school and college students working as referees and they are on the receiving end of a parent’s anger.

“These kids are getting threatened, our young adults are getting threatened by parents in the stadium of physical violence over a bad call for a 10-year-old’s baseball game. It is absurd, it is ridiculous that we even have to have this conversation.”

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