Rep. MacEwen files bill to require fines levied against pro-athletes go to local charities

Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, filed a bill this week to send fines levied against pro athletes in Washington state to charities within the state. Currently, fines levied against professional athletes are sent to the league headquarters and disbursed from there. This bill would create the opportunity for leagues to focus on charitable organizations in Washington state, where the athletes live and conduct business on behalf of their team and league.

“Athletes who work in Washington state have always shown a strong commitment to local charities,” said MacEwen, R-Union. “This bill would allow funds to be directed to local charities, and not sent to a league office across the country when a local player is fined. Recent events, especially surrounding Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, have shown professional leagues have considerable autonomy to fine players, and I believe our local communities should benefit from these fines.”

By directing these funds to locally operated charitable organizations, MacEwen believes it will encourage fair assessment of fines while providing significant benefits to the charitable organizations that provide critical services for children, victims of domestic violence, veterans, and many others in Washington.

“As a sports fan, I understand a league's desire to protect their brand and image, but can't think of a better way to do that than by disbursing fines locally.” MacEwen said. “This doesn't take away a league's ability to discipline, it simply shifts the funds to local groups who seek to promote stronger communities.”

The 2015 legislative session began Jan. 12 and is scheduled to last 105 days.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov