Governor Signs Bill Clarifying WHL Players as Amateur Athletes

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Olympia, WA – Representatives from all four Washington State-based Western Hockey League (WHL) Member Clubs (Everett Silvertips, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, and Tri-City Americans) and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison were in attendance today in Olympia to witness the signing of Senate Bill 5893 by Governor of Washington Jay Inslee.

Senate Bill 5893 further clarifies the status of WHL players as amateur athletes and non-employees. The signing of the Bill by Governor Inslee is the final approval required for the legislation to become law in the State of Washington. Previously approved by the bipartisan Senate and House of Representatives, the Bill concerned the status of amateur athletes and, now law, ensures WHL players will not be treated or defined as employees in the State of Washington.

“On behalf of our Washington-based Member Clubs and the amateur hockey players who play, or aspire to play, in the top development league in North America, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to the Governor as well as the Senate and House of Representatives,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “This legislation not only confirms the status of WHL players as amateur athletes but will allow our four Washington-based Clubs to continue offering world class development and education opportunities, as they have been doing in the State for close to 40 years.

“We fully expect other jurisdictions in our region to adopt similar legislation as Washington and Saskatchewan have in order to ensure our teams are in a position to continue operating as they have for decades.