Sen. Wiley Helping to Make the Playing Field Safer - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Sen. Wiley Helping to Make the Playing Field Safer

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Sports are full of passion. But sometimes, that passion can cause athletes, spectators or even coaches to make  destructive decisions.

On Thursday, Senator Sean Wiley, (D) 49th District, introduced a bill, to help better protect those involved in  sporting events, from what he calls unfortunate and  unnecessary actions.

"Those participants have to do this without fear of something really tragic happening, and I think if we make sure we protect them, then that's the appropriate way to go."
 
Senate Bill 925, as it's known, would increase the penalty for simple assault committed against  those participating in the  game to a first degree misdemeanor.

Lacrosse and football official Chris McNally said it doesn't hurt to strengthen the existing laws.

"One reason why I know a lot of us do this is just to, we were student athletes and we want to give back, give them an opportunity to kind of mature in those situations. And I think any legislation that helps the surrounding group on the field, and try to help mature them, is a good thing."

Sen. Wiley said the tragedy in Utah just last month shows the need to strengthen the laws here in Pennsylvania to better protect players, coaches and officials on the field.

"When an official comes to the site, you have to make sure that when they're on site, and they're ready to participate, they're protected in that situation as well," said Wiley.

The senator's bill would also protect the participants before, during and after the game. McNally said there are plenty of penalties built into the game for the safety of the players, and it's nice to know this bill would take care of off field actions.

"I think once you leave that field, you can get in some situations off football fields, basketball courts, you're leaving a school and it's dark behind you," said McNally. "So this could put a thought in somebody's mind that they would think hopefully twice before kind of letting their emotions effect them."

Sen. Wiley said he hopes to have this bill on its way through the house by the end of June.

 

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