FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Three Republican lawmakers in Kentucky say they plan to introduce a bill that would make intimidating sports officials a misdemeanor offense.
State Rep. Randy Bridges of Paducah said Tuesday that the measure aims to restore respect for sports officials. The bill would also create a felony offense for physically assaulting officials.
Bridges says the goal is to prevent “highly charged “situations from escalating at sporting events.
The bill stems from a spring incident in which a Kentucky referee was punched and knocked unconscious in Paducah. The alleged assailant is charged with assault.
The referee, Kenny Culp, expressed support for the bill during a press conference Tuesday.
Under the bill, an intimidation offense would include threatening physical injury or property damage.
The bill’s cosponsors include Reps. Brandon Reed and Chad McCoy.