You might have recently heard that a Judge in Canada has sent a loud and clear statement to out-of-control parents in youth sports. Unfortunately for Martin Tremblay, his despicable act of tripping two kids on the opposing team in the handshake line after his son’s hockey game was caught on video and posted on YouTube. After pleading guilty, the judge in Richmond, British Columbia sentenced him to 15 days in jail.
New Jersey has also tried to address this recent problem of violence at youth sports games. In 2003, the Legislature amended our Criminal Code by upgrading any charge of misdemeanor Simple Assault which occurs at a youth sports events to a Fourth Degree crime. Although there is a presumption against imprisonment for those without a record, the maximum sentence is eighteen (18) months in State Prison.
As in Canada, the upgraded law in NJ correctly reflects the seriousness of horrendous acts such as those committed by Mr. Tremblay and hopefully serves to prevent them. However, as with most laws, there have been some unintended consequences, such as charges filed against parents who are simply protecting or defending kids under attack. Either way, whether in Canada or NJ, parents should remember that it is “just a game”, and if they do not, all bets are off.
See link below for full story and video from the Martin Tremblay case: