Louisiana lawmakers pass bill to curb referee harassment

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Harassing a Referee Could Lead to Criminal Charges in One State

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

"Kill the umpire" is a time-honored phrase for sports fans who disagree with an official's call.

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But for parents of youth sports athletes in Louisiana, a threat or harassment could become a crime.

bill passed by the Louisiana House of Representatives would make it a crime to harass or threaten a school or recreation athletic contest official and would levy a penaty against the guilty parties. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, passed by a 102-1 vote Monday, according to The Associated Press. The Louisiana Senate passed the measure by a 35-0 vote Saturday.

The bill now goes to Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Under the provisions of the bill, a person found guilty could face up to 90 days in jail, along with community service and mandatory counseling. Penalties also could be assessed if the referee believes he or she is "in fear of receiving bodily harm" while officiating.

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