Tennessee Proposes New Law After Lawmaker's Viral 'Pantsing' Attempt

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A new proposed law would make assaulting a sports official a felony in Tennessee, a move that comes weeks after a top state lawmaker allegedly attempted to "pants" a referee at a high school basketball game.

State Rep. Brandon Ogles filed a new bill that would make assaulting a sports official, such as a referee or umpire, a felony and making "offensive" contact with a sports official and misdemeanor, FOX 17 reports. House Bill 1761 describes the contact as:

"Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to a sports official while the official is officiating a sporting event; Intentionally, or knowingly causes a sports official, while the official is officiating a sporting event, to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury; or Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with a sports official while the official is officiating a sporting event and a reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative."

The bill applies to any official who is a member of a local, state, regional or national organization. If the bill is passed, it would go into effect July 1, 2022.

State Rep. Jeremy Faison, chairman of the House Republican Caucus, made headlines earlier this month when a confrontation with a referee at Providence Academy in Johnson City ended with the lawmaker's apparent feigned or failed attempt at pulling down the official's pants.

The moment was caught on video and shared to Twitter, where it has since been viewed over 350,000 times.

Hours after he was ejected from the game, Faison issued an apology and said he "acted the fool."

"For years I thought how wrong it is when a parent looses [sic] their temper at a sporting event. It's not Christian and it's not mature and it's embarrassing to the child have always been my thoughts," he said. "Unfortunately, I acted the fool tonight and lost my temper on a ref. I was wanting him to fight me. Totally lost my junk and got booted from [the gym]. I've never really lost my temper but I did tonight and it was completely stupid of me."

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