Demonstrators gather in Taunton in support of bills against assault, harassment of sports officials

TAUNTON, Mass. (WLNE) — Members of the Greater Taunton Amateur Baseball Umpires Association gathered on the Taunton Green Wednesday evening after two longtime umpires claimed they were harassed at a game last month.

Those in attendance told ABC 6 News that their goal was to raise awareness about legislation that would help local sports officials deal with harassment and abuse at games.

Four separate bills were introduced on Beacon Hill that would improve protections for youth umpires, referees and officials.

The bills are as follows:

  • H.1753 — An act concerning assault of a sports official
  • H.1475 — An act to prevent assaults on sports officials
  • H.1825 — An act relative to enhanced penalties for those who commit assault and battery against school sports officials
  • H.1407 — An act relative to criminal harassment against a sports official

Demonstrators who have been officiating for decades say the attitude towards them has changed.

“Now they’re losing their grasp — again, it’s a kid’s game,” said GTABUA President Dominic Damiano.

“So, these people are not understanding that it’s a kid’s game and they’re too loose with their tongues — they’re too loose with their actions,” he added.

There is no clear timeline for these bills to move forward, but Damiano said he’s confident they have the support necessary to become law.

Categories: Massachusetts, News