Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois
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Illinois State Senator Hunter, U.S. Congressman Rush Support Legislation to Increase Punishment for Trespassing onto Field of Play

Apr 22, 2003
Press Release

Chicago ---- In an effort to toughen penalties and deter future incidents at professional sports stadiums and arenas, Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter announced today her intention to introduce a bill to the state legislature mandating jail time and minimum fines for anyone who trespasses onto the field, court or rink of a professional sports arena.

The legislation calls for a minimum $1,000 fine, mandatory 30-day jail sentences and possible alcohol and/or drug evaluation for anyone who trespasses onto the field of play, court or ice rink of a professional sports venue.

"As an elected official, it is my job to protect the safety of all citizens, and that includes umpires, coaches and players doing their jobs on the field of play," said Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd District). "The recent incidents are alarming. It is my desire to ensure that professional sporting events offer a safe environment, and tougher punishments for unruly, disruptive fans who make a spectacle of themselves or commit violence by entering the field of play is a powerful first step."

U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL, 1st District) offers his support of State Senator Hunter's efforts to create tougher penalties.

"All across the country, there have been examples of abusive and unlawful behavior against athletes - both amateur and professional, players and referees," said Rush. "We in the U.S. Congress are just as alarmed by these recent incidents as state and local officials and the public. I stand in support of State Senator Mattie Hunter, the White Sox organization and the thousands of fans who do not want to come to U.S. Cellular Field and have their experience disrupted by unruly and abusive individuals."

"Obviously, the Chicago White Sox have been impacted by disruptive fans," said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. "But this is not just about baseball. The safety and comfort of players, officials and fans at all sporting events is our number one priority. I am thrilled that Senator Hunter has chosen to support tougher penalties for anyone who trespasses on the field of play, and the White Sox will do everything we can to see that this legislation is put into law. Stopping this type of behavior will require multiple actions, and mandated minimum penalties are a crucial step." of behavior will require multiple actions, and mandated minimum penalties are a crucial step."