N.J. legislator wants sensitivity training for coaches, ADs

January 28, 2019 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A New Jersey legislator has introduced a bill that would require the state’s high school coaches and athletic administrators to undergo sensitivity training every four years.

The bill, as it’s currently written, requires that coaches and athletic directors receive sensitivity training on gender and sexual orientation; race and ethnicity; disabilities; religious tolerance; unconscious bias; and diversity and inclusion. Sports officials also would be obligated to take part in the training.

Last year, a New Jersey football coach was fired after leaving a profane voicemail with one of his players. Earlier this year, a lawsuit was filed against a hockey coach, accusing him of pointing a gun at one of his players.

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In December, a referee forced a high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks, saying that his hair was in violation of the rules. State Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, who sponsors the bill, introduced the proposal before the incident, but he said it’s a prime example of why the training program is necessary.

“You would have been clearly sensitive to the fact of a young man having dreadlocks and how insensitive it is to cut somebody’s dreadlocks,” Wimberly told NJ.com. “Unfortunately, his situation will probably bring life to this across the board to everybody.”

On Jan. 24, Wimberly’s bill was unanimously approved by the Assembly Education Committee. It has yet to be presented for a full vote.

Read more from NJ.com. Read Wimberly’s proposal here.

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