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 Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms? 
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RIP Killer
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Post Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
Let's just close locker rooms to all reporters

By Kevin Seifert
Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs has jumped into this week's national debate about female reporters working in NFL locker rooms, telling Ch. 4 in Chicago that "I don't think women should be in the locker room" and reinforcing his thoughts with reporters Thursday.

"My statement is that the men's locker room is for men," Briggs said, according to ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson. "Just like the women's locker room is for women."

"It shouldn't be a big deal, period," Briggs added. "This is the same place where grown men are taking showers ... and right outside of all these places we're surrounded by media, as we're drying off. We're naked and trying to answer questions at the same time. It's our realm."

Going public with that sentiment probably wasn't the wisest decision Briggs has ever made, but I'm not going to totally dismiss his thoughts as Neanderthal ramblings. There is no excuse for sexual harassment in the workplace, locker room or otherwise. But being uncomfortable is both a two-way street and a subjective matter. We can tell Briggs that female reporters deserve equal access, but we can't tell him what should or shouldn't make him uncomfortable. Can we all agree that it's possible for a perfectly reasonable and enlightened athlete to prefer not getting dressed in front of female reporters?

So here's my solution, for whatever it's worth: Maybe the NFL should close locker rooms entirely and create an adjacent and more professional workspace for all credentialed media members to conduct interviews after practices and games.

I'm sure many in my profession would bemoan this change, but let's take a minute to think through why interviews occur in the locker room in the first place. Frankly, it's a vestige of a time when only a handful of reporters covered teams in the NFL and other leagues. The entrance of a few (male) beat reporters into the locker room was hardly an intrusion. It was convenient for players and offered a chance for casual conversations and information gathering.

The explosion of media interest has made access periods in NFL locker rooms anything but casual. On a weekly basis, I watch reporters literally trip over each other because there are so many squeezed into a confined space. After the NFC Championship Game last January, I was among a handful of people speaking with Minnesota Vikings linebacker Ben Leber. Another group of reporters rushed by behind us. One of them crashed into me, pushing me forward and into a chair in front of Leber's locker. The chair fell on one of Leber's bare feet. I can't publish what Leber said after that.

The fact is there are few opportunities for the kind of one-on-one opportunities that once made locker rooms the most desirable place to conduct interviews. That type of interaction typically occurs away from formal access periods, either via pre-arranged sit-downs or telephone conversations.

I honestly don't think we would miss much if the group interviews we normally get in the locker room are moved to a designated interview room, as long as teams were able to coerce enough players to cooperate. That's already the case for coaches and high-profile players, and I'm guessing other players would comply if the return was privacy in the locker room.

Then, if reporters who have relationships with players want to make other arrangements for private interviews, they can do so.

It goes without saying that female reporters should have access to locker rooms as long as they are open to the media. But why thrust discomfort on anyone if there is an equal alternative for all?

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September 16th, 2010, 5:39 pm
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Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
well, hiring the hottest reporters you can find certaintly doesn't help, now does it? Just because Inez Sainz or whatever her name is can fill out a pair of jeans like nothing I've ever seen before doesn't mean she's worth half a turd as a reporter. I tried listening to here and she was awful.

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September 16th, 2010, 6:14 pm
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Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
No idea really who she is... but if I was a player I prolly wouldn't change and shower at that time. I have never been in a locker room situation like that so I have no idea how it works... but the way he wrote it, it sounds hectic and not worth the time trying to do anything.

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September 16th, 2010, 6:27 pm
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Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
This whole thing is ridiculous. If they want "equal protection" allow female reporters in female locker-rooms and male reporters in male locker-rooms. It's bullshit that the sports community is going to miss out on access and once again make things worse for EVERYONE because "it's not fair!!!" Boo-phuckin'-whoo...

I realize that all of the action and worthwhile stuff happens in male locker-rooms, and that its not "equal" to allow males in male LRs and women in women LRs, but be realistic - this thing is ridiculous.

This writer wants to say that we won't be missing out on anything if LR interviews are done away with BULLLSH!T!!! How many AWESOME teary-eyed moments, or emotional explosions (Brian Cox anyone???) have been caught on film or tape in the locker-room? The same emotions won't exist after a hot shower and a new set of clean clothes. We won't get to see shoulder pads thrown, garbage cans kicked, etc. and that is GREAT TV, great entertainment, and great emotion. We WILL miss out on a lot of LR interviews are done away with, but that doesn't mean that women should be allowed to conduct them.


September 16th, 2010, 6:28 pm
Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
*** On a sidenote... Thing thing is going to snowball (pun intended!!!) out of control if there is some kind of lawsuit. Dennis Rodman and others are/were NOTORIOUS for "letting their junk" hang out, or flashing it around, or putting it uncomfortably close to female reporters. It was moreso a slap in the face to them because the males didn't want them in there. It is sort of like "oh, you're going to invade my privacy, here... have TOTAL access and see how you like it" sort of a thing. That's going to be next in stirring up controversy.


September 16th, 2010, 6:31 pm
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Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
wjb21ndtown wrote:
This whole thing is ridiculous. If they want "equal protection" allow female reporters in female locker-rooms and male reporters in male locker-rooms. It's bullshit that the sports community is going to miss out on access and once again make things worse for EVERYONE because "it's not fair!!!" Boo-phuckin'-whoo...

I realize that all of the action and worthwhile stuff happens in male locker-rooms, and that its not "equal" to allow males in male LRs and women in women LRs, but be realistic - this thing is ridiculous.

This writer wants to say that we won't be missing out on anything if LR interviews are done away with BULLLSH!T!!! How many AWESOME teary-eyed moments, or emotional explosions (Brian Cox anyone???) have been caught on film or tape in the locker-room? The same emotions won't exist after a hot shower and a new set of clean clothes. We won't get to see shoulder pads thrown, garbage cans kicked, etc. and that is GREAT TV, great entertainment, and great emotion. We WILL miss out on a lot of LR interviews are done away with, but that doesn't mean that women should be allowed to conduct them.

Playing devils advocate here, but
What make you think that we have the right to see all these emotions?
What gives you the right?
Just how does it improve your or anyone else's life to see a grown man/woman break down after losing or winning a phyical and emotional battle?

For the record, if male reporters aren't allowed in female locker rooms, then female reporters don't belong in male locker rooms.

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September 17th, 2010, 3:34 pm
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Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
I am of the belief that if a woman knowingly enters a room full of naked testosterone filled men, she has NO RIGHT complaining about what she sees and hears.

Thats like working at a dog pound and being offended by all the barking.


September 17th, 2010, 3:41 pm
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Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
TheRealWags wrote:
Playing devils advocate here, but
What make you think that we have the right to see all these emotions?
What gives you the right?
Just how does it improve your or anyone else's life to see a grown man/woman break down after losing or winning a phyical and emotional battle?

For the record, if male reporters aren't allowed in female locker rooms, then female reporters don't belong in male locker rooms.


The NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB give us the right to see these emotions, as do the player contracts.

It improves sports entertainment in general to see how much these people actually care about what they do. It's absolutely AWESOME to see the raw emotion over what ultimately amounts to a "silly game." Showing these emotions highlights how important the game really is to them, how serious they take it, and how far they're willing to go to do something truly great.

And once again, everyone has to make sacrifices and be shown less so things can be "equal." It is ridiculous.


September 17th, 2010, 3:57 pm
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Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
wjb21ndtown wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
Playing devils advocate here, but
What make you think that we have the right to see all these emotions?
What gives you the right?
Just how does it improve your or anyone else's life to see a grown man/woman break down after losing or winning a phyical and emotional battle?

For the record, if male reporters aren't allowed in female locker rooms, then female reporters don't belong in male locker rooms.


The NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB give us the right to see these emotions, as do the player contracts.

It improves sports entertainment in general to see how much these people actually care about what they do. It's absolutely AWESOME to see the raw emotion over what ultimately amounts to a "silly game." Showing these emotions highlights how important the game really is to them, how serious they take it, and how far they're willing to go to do something truly great.

And once again, everyone has to make sacrifices and be shown less so things can be "equal." It is ridiculous.

And those same organizations can take that privledge away if they choose (I do not see it as a right).

You don't see enough emotions on the field before, during or after the games?

And once again, if the players believe that their right to privacy is being broken/violated, then why shouldn't there be changes made? What is so wrong with have the teams use the already existing media rooms in these stadiums for their interviews/press conferences/etc? And if the female reporters want their equal access, then why aren't male reporters allowed in WNBA, Women's Beach Volleyball, Women's Tennis, etc locker rooms? So much for equality, eh? You're a lawyer, tell me how that is legal.

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September 17th, 2010, 4:08 pm
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Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
Sorry, wjb, but you're wrong. While CURRENTLY the various male sports leagues allow all reporters into the locker rooms, they can change it at any time.

When the WNBA was established, that was at the time that the whole women reporters in mens locker rooms thing really exploded. As a result, many male reporters were anxious to be able to turn the tables. However, the WNBA made a rule that absolutely NO media was allowed in the locker rooms.

I believe that the professional sports leagues should do exactly that. Have a media access room, put the reporters in there, and ask that the players appear in that room. Isn't that what they do for college sports? You never see reporters in those locker rooms unless the team chooses to allow them. And usually it's only for a certain time, and then when those players start to undress it's time for the reporters to leave.

I don't like sexual harassment in the workplace. But I don't consider the locker room to be a work place for reporters, but for athletes. The fact that reporters have been allowed in there for this long is probably only because of the lucrative TV contracts they get.

Time for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL to bite the bullet and tell the various media and stations that the party is over, and it's because they INSISTED on letting women into the locker rooms with MEN written on the door.

To me, it's no different than a male janitor walking into a woman's bathroom to do his job, and a woman in there gets all bent out of shape. "Sorry...just here to do my job. I have a right to be here." I wonder if that guy would not only get to keep his job, but have his employer take his side and insist he has a right to enter without restrictions? I wonder if that court case that the woman would undoubtedly insist on would be thrown out due to the same issues?

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September 17th, 2010, 10:11 pm
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Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
m2karateman wrote:
Sorry, wjb, but you're wrong. While CURRENTLY the various male sports leagues allow all reporters into the locker rooms, they can change it at any time.

When the WNBA was established, that was at the time that the whole women reporters in mens locker rooms thing really exploded. As a result, many male reporters were anxious to be able to turn the tables. However, the WNBA made a rule that absolutely NO media was allowed in the locker rooms.


Where did I say otherwise?


It is true that the league could disallow male and female reports into the locker-room. I never contest that. I only say that it would be doing a disservice to the fans and a disservice to the league if that happened. Like I said, if that happened we'd be missing out on seeing the real emotion and passion that these people have for the game.

Wags, you say that "can't you see it on the field," but you can't. Not the way you see it in the locker room. A player slamming a ball to the ground with their helmet on, or pouting on the sidelines with a towel over their head isn't the same as a locker-room tirade. You don't get that anywhere else, and you can't get that anywhere else. Once that insight is taken away, it's lost. You'll never get it back, and we as fans will suffer because of it.

I'm not saying that we won't watch, or that the game will be any less interesting, but the insight into the players personality and lives will be greatly reduced, and we'll miss out on all of those amazing locker-room explosions.

Again, we will all have less in the name of making things "equal."


September 20th, 2010, 10:10 am
Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
Playing devils advocate here, but
What make you think that we have the right to see all these emotions?
What gives you the right?
Just how does it improve your or anyone else's life to see a grown man/woman break down after losing or winning a phyical and emotional battle?

For the record, if male reporters aren't allowed in female locker rooms, then female reporters don't belong in male locker rooms.


The NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB give us the right to see these emotions, as do the player contracts.

It improves sports entertainment in general to see how much these people actually care about what they do. It's absolutely AWESOME to see the raw emotion over what ultimately amounts to a "silly game." Showing these emotions highlights how important the game really is to them, how serious they take it, and how far they're willing to go to do something truly great.

And once again, everyone has to make sacrifices and be shown less so things can be "equal." It is ridiculous.

And those same organizations can take that privledge away if they choose (I do not see it as a right).

You don't see enough emotions on the field before, during or after the games?

And once again, if the players believe that their right to privacy is being broken/violated, then why shouldn't there be changes made? What is so wrong with have the teams use the already existing media rooms in these stadiums for their interviews/press conferences/etc? And if the female reporters want their equal access, then why aren't male reporters allowed in WNBA, Women's Beach Volleyball, Women's Tennis, etc locker rooms? So much for equality, eh? You're a lawyer, tell me how that is legal.


Right/privilege whatever you want to call it, I'm fine with it. I didn't imply anywhere that it CAN'T be taken away, only that it shouldn't be taken away.

Players haven't complained much in the past about male reporters in the locker-rooms, and they really haven't complained all that much about female reporters in the locker-rooms. If they want to say that they feel violated by either, they can make that claim and the Union and the League will address it. If they players don't want it, I'm fine with removing it, but to lose that insight because a porn star masquerading as a Mexico TV reporter wants to wear skimpy clothing into the locker-room and then complain publicly about how she is treated is utterly ridiculous.


September 20th, 2010, 10:13 am
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Post Re: Maybe No Reporters Should Be in the Locker Rooms?
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Players haven't complained much in the past about male reporters in the locker-rooms, and they really haven't complained all that much about female reporters in the locker-rooms. If they want to say that they feel violated by either, they can make that claim and the Union and the League will address it. If they players don't want it, I'm fine with removing it, but to lose that insight because a porn star masquerading as a Mexico TV reporter wants to wear skimpy clothing into the locker-room and then complain publicly about how she is treated is utterly ridiculous.


I agree that part of the issue is how these women look, how they dress, etc. around men who have just come out of a football game (for any women out there, you don't just turn the testosterone off like a faucet...there needs to be some cool down time beyond the game) and are largely naked. I think some players have complained to the NFLPA and the league, but it's fallen on deaf ears and they've been told the magic word "TV Contracts". They don't want to crap where they eat.

That said I think there has to be a happy medium met, or else things like this will continue. Either the women will have to dress down (which they'll refuse to do) or the media will be banned from locker rooms (which they will probably fight tooth and nail for the reasons you point out) or something else.

It makes me laugh when women say that they want to be treated like "one of the guys", but only when it benefits them. When it benefits them to be treated differently (like in divorce court) then that's just fine. I hate hypocrites.
I wonder, if these women were in a bar and some guys said the same things to them, would they make such a fuss about it? Or would it be seen as just playful bantering?

I'm sorry, but ladies, if that's the job you want to do then expect that the guys are going to act like guys in a locker room. Leave it to women to want the world around them to change for their comfort and benefit, damned be the comfort and benefit of the people that BELONG there.

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September 22nd, 2010, 7:46 pm
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