Blog Entry

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II

Posted on: September 15, 2010 9:26 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 4:04 pm
 
Simple question here.  If you have a daughter, wouldn’t you want her to have every opportunity available to excel and succeed in her chosen career?  Careful gentlemen on how you answer this question.  Answer it one way, you’re a feminist, another, someone may consider you a knuckle dragging Neanderthal.  But seriously, wouldn’t you want every opportunity for your daughter to succeed in her chosen career field?

I’m going to keep this personal and try to hit at your heart strings here.  Here’s your daughter, who, grew up watching Sunday football with you trying to make it in the world of sports reporting.  Here’s your daughter who you taught how to throw a softball, hold a bat, kick a soccer ball, wanting to make a name for herself in her chosen profession.  Here’s your daughter, who received a college scholarship for volleyball, now stuck doing high school football stories while her male co-worker advances on to bigger and better things, all because he was able to have access to big name sources (players) to provide quotes and substance for their articles.  Your daughter, unfortunately, was not allowed the same access based on her gender. 

The argument over women in the locker rooms isn’t new.   In fact, during the 1977 World Series, Sports Illustrated reporter Melissa Ludtke had been denied access by then Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn.  Sports Illustrated Time, Inc., filed suit and in 1978, the District Court of New York ruled that female reporters should be granted equal access to the Yankee's club house.   By the mid-eighties, the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB adopted policies that had brought them in compliance with the Federal ruling  (1) and gender exclusion from locker rooms were removed.

Look, I understand the question as to why should women be allowed in the locker room in the first place.  The excuses (and yes, they’re excuses) as to why they shouldn’t be allowed, which range from the issue of privacy to “it’s a man’s sport and women don’t know men’s sports”.  Here’s a question, think Jennifer Allen, daughter of former NFL coach George Allen, doesn’t know anything about football?  If it truly is a man’s sport, then why are there women in the stands on game days? 

While some are quick to point out that there are women’s sports that women can cover, this is true, however, as SI columnist Ann Killion points out, that there is nothing comparable in the venue of women’s sports (2).  “There is simply no female equivalent to professional men's sports. There is no billion-dollar female sports league that fuels millions of jobs, the way the men's professional leagues do.”

“But what about a players right to privacy”…yes, I know this is a question that’s been asked as every sports columnist and analyst around the country has expressed their opinions over the latest outrage of the Jets-Sainz issue.  “There are naked men walking around the locker room during this time and the players have the right to privacy”.  While I’ll address the privacy issue later on in this series, I’d like to point out about making an argument on privacy and naked men in a room filled with television cameras and photo-journalists may leave some folks scratching their heads (including me) about the logic to this question. 

The thing is, that since the 1980’s, women reporters have and will continue to have access to the men’s locker rooms at the same time their male counterparts have (just as men have access to women’s locker rooms). There's said to be an advantage that a reporter may never have if they didn't have access to the players at the end of a game.   One specific question, or one specific quote could allow a reporter to submit for print or airing something different then what every other reporter may be turning in at deadline.  As Ms. Killion points out, women in men’s locker rooms are now an every day occurrence.  In other words, if you see a gaggle of male reporters, your likely to find a female reporter in their midst.  And while the incident involving Ms. Sainz seems to be a new issue, it isn’t.  And while many want to blame it on the political correctness of today’s NFL, it goes back further then some of the young folks may think. 

So…how about them women in the locker room?

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(1) Women Reports in the Men's Locker Room , Womens Sports Foundation, www.womenssportsfoundation.org.

(2) Athletes behaving like Boorish Frat Boys is a Tired Act , Ann Killion, Sports Illustrated, 9/14/10





Comments

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: September 16, 2010 8:13 pm
 

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II

I actually read your blog and found it very well researched and documented. 

Thank you.

I don't believe that there's this massive conspiracy in the world of sports reporting to perpetuate a lie

Neither do I.

And the issue then is bigger then women having access to the locker rooms and is more of an issue with the press in general in the locker room,

I couldn't agree with you more.

The thing is, is that it's actually up to the players association to effect the change with the teams and the locker rooms. 

Well, not entirely. In any workplaces (not selling sex) this sort of treatment would never be considered. No non-sports reporter would even consider it. Reporters covering a Miss America pageant would have just as much reason to want dressing-room access where they can get behind-the-scenes information. There's plenty of quotes to be had in a police locker room. But these thoughts never enters into anyone's mind. It's absurd.

In other words, the leagues are free to do the noble thing at any moment and come up with a more reasonable policy that respects everyone involved. It's up to them too.

And if we as a public decide that we won't support businesses that engage in this type of thing, then it's up to us too.

And it's also up to the media. They are free to change the way things are at any moment. All they have to do is be honest with their readers.



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: September 16, 2010 6:46 pm
 

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II

I can see where you're coming from. When I first started delving into the issue, I bought all the hooplah about time limits and trainers rooms -- these options might be there some of the time, but there are times when athletes have no choice short of riding home unshowered with their uniforms still on. It's easy for sports reporters to lie about this because the truth is so unbelievable. I encourage you to check out the inaugural post to my blog if you want to learn more. I actually read your blog and found it very well researched and documented.  While I don't believe that there's this massive conspiracy in the world of sports reporting to perpetuate a lie, I think a lot of it is based more on the experiences of individual reporters.  Although I used Ann Killion's article as a reference, a lot of the opinions I was reading were from local writers.  One's who don't actually travel to away games and only have the experiences from their locker rooms.

From what I was reading from them, it sounds like both sides aren't actually comfortable with the situation, however, like the annual prostate or gyn exam, a necessary evil that you want to get over and done with as quickly as possible. 

And the issue then is bigger then women having access to the locker rooms and is more of an issue with the press in general in the locker room, which this incident may actually force.  The thing is, is that it's actually up to the players association to effect the change with the teams and the locker rooms. 



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: September 16, 2010 6:18 pm
 

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II


 Was she targeting him?  But, I'm speculating on her motives, which isn't fair.  But I don't believe in coincidences either.

I'm guessing that Sanchez might be of some interest to her audience in Mexico. 
 
I assume you're referencing an NFL rule.  Commish should look into this.

Guess that can happen if they end up repealing the 14th Amendment. 

That's a good point.  Perhaps locker room interviews have become a necessary part of the job.  Perhaps face time is that elusive.  Then again, does anybody really care what Timmons has to say?  Don't they usually have the "stars" at the podium after the game?

The NFL isn't always about the stars though.  You're getting pat answers at the podium.  There might be something from a young rookie center that the rest of the reporters missed.  Sometimes interviews don't always involve questions about the game that day but that's the only time a reporter is able to corner them.

  Easy.  We're not talking about Suze Kolber here.  We're talking about the self-proclaimed "hottest reporter in Mexico" who has a portfolio full of bikini shots.  Does she have credibility?  She can wear what she wants, but it may affect her being taken seriously.  By the way, Portis is out of line with his "packages" line.

Ah, see, this is the miscommunication and probably the misunderstanding.  My blog wasn't and isn't about Sainz in particular, part one (which I guess you missed...brought in how the Jets - Sainz incident reopened an argument that's been going on for the past 30 years with women and sports reporting.  As far as the way Sainz dress being able to take her seriously, I think none of us actually watch the network she works for, so it's difficult to say whether or not her viewers take her seriously.

Ever go there by yourself and look particularly good that day?  Get any comments?

Yep, but it wasn't part of my job. 

Nobody is denying her, MLF.

This goes back to the argument that women shouldn't be allowed in the locker room while their male counterparts are.  Again, I split the pieces basically because the issue is complex and would turn into a book otherwise.





Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: September 16, 2010 6:11 pm
 

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II

The court ruling applied only to Yankee stadium and the part about ensuring privacy has been largely forgotten.

Screening the showers from view has not always been a feasible option in some of the more antiquated facilities. Athletes have had to endure leers from reporters (usually male) while showering. After the Olson incident, the NFL made it a policy that all showers must be screened from view, though I personally do not believe that those renovations ever actually got done. The NFL most definitely does not require that showers have a place to hang towels, robes, or sweat shorts -- again it's just not feasible:  

The WNBA does indeed force reporters out after a time so that the players can have some privacy. The men's leagues do not. NFL teams must let the media in after ten minutes -- often not enough time to listen to the post-game talk and get all that protective gear unlaced. Once the media is in, they get to stay until the last player has left.

I can see where you're coming from. When I first started delving into the issue, I bought all the hooplah about time limits and trainers rooms -- these options might be there some of the time, but there are times when athletes have no choice short of riding home unshowered with their uniforms still on. It's easy for sports reporters to lie about this because the truth is so unbelievable. I encourage you to check out the inaugural post to my blog if you want to learn more.



Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: September 16, 2010 4:35 pm
 

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II

, if you're thinking that Sainz has the hots for Sanchez...seriously...dude...have you seen the woman?  She can do better...much, much better

I don't think she's pretty in the face.  That's me.  I find it curious that she was "looking for Mark Sanchez".  I know, he's the story, but a good reporter could get a quote from Ryan, Revis, Mangold, I dunno.  There are other stories.  Was she targeting him?  But, I'm speculating on her motives, which isn't fair.  But I don't believe in coincidences either.

This so called political correctness has been going on since 1984. 

I assume you're referencing an NFL rule.  Commish should look into this.

While I may agree, here's a question about waiting for the press conference to talk to a player....when was the last time you seen Lawrence Timmons standing at the podium?

That's a good point.  Perhaps locker room interviews have become a necessary part of the job.  Perhaps face time is that elusive.  Then again, does anybody really care what Timmons has to say?  Don't they usually have the "stars" at the podium after the game?

 Maybe not, but not all women are happy doing fluff pieces on sports, quite a few like to be taken seriously. 

Easy.  We're not talking about Suze Kolber here.  We're talking about the self-proclaimed "hottest reporter in Mexico" who has a portfolio full of bikini shots.  Does she have credibility?  She can wear what she wants, but it may affect her being taken seriously.  By the way, Portis is out of line with his "packages" line.

guess women should dress in berkas huh?

No.

I've been to Harley bars

Ever go there by yourself and look particularly good that day?  Get any comments?

Denying someone a job or preventing them from doing their job because of their sex is. 

Nobody is denying her, MLF.




Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: September 16, 2010 4:01 pm
 

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II

1. The supreme court has never ruled on the issue of locker room access. A district court ruled that women get equal access to locker rooms in Yankee stadium. It also ruled that the Yankees still had to protect the privacy of the players by installing curtains or doors. 

My bad, thank you for pointing that out. 

2. I agree that camermen in the locker room are just as intrusive as women reporters. That's why I, like most people, bring up the privacy issue to say that they should all give the players a reasonable chance to shower and dress. It is a flagrant strawman argument when you and the rest of the media equate the question of privacy with the question of privacy from women.

Actually I was going to point out how it was a strawman argument to use a woman reporter in the locker room being an invasion of privacy for the players and not address the intrusion of the cameras and other photo-journalists. 

3. NBA players who want privacy have more time and less gear than NFL players. The mechanics of their locker rooms are different. They also have less incidents like this because they have much smaller teams. And yes, the NBA has had problems and issues (ask Alonzo Mourning or Charlie Ward). Also basketballs are better handled by men with unusually long fingers. Take from that whatever you like.

Not going to argue that the NBA over it's history hasn't had it's issues, and not going to say that it won't in the future.  Every sport has had it's issues (and growing pains) since female reporters have been allowed into the locker rooms.  It's been an issue in the workplace regardless of the venues since women started entring it. 

4. Imagine you had a son who became a professional athlete. Imagine he confides in you about how humiliated and degraded he feels when he's disrobed in front of dozens of reporters and camerapersons. He tells you he's afraid to speak up because he's supposed to be a tough guy. He knows that if he does, people will start making comments about the size of his penis. He knows the media will roast him as backward and neanderthal. What advice would you give him

I've never been inside a men's locker room so I can't advise of the layout.  As you stated before, teams are required by law to provide players an area that is private with no access to the press.  Players have the option to utilize this area, is it convenient, probably not, but that's an option. 

There is nothing saying that a player has to be nude when meeting with the press.  The arrival of the press isn't a surprise, every player is aware of when the door opens.  In many of the post game reports,  you see interviews with players still in uniform, that's an option also.  I'm not sure how long the press is allowed to remain in the locker room after it is allowed to enter.  In the WNBA, the press must wait 10 minutes after the game and only is allowed to remain for 30 minutes.  Without knowing the actual time frame that's alloted to the press, the option of remaining partially clothed until they leave is there.  There's nothing saying they can't wear a robe coming out of the shower.  It was noted by one reporter that Redskins had began a 1/2 dressed policy.  Players couldn't talk to reporters (and vice versa) until the player was at least partially clothed).  Again, there is nothing that says that a player has to be nude when the doors open to the press at the said time.  In the end, it's about a matter of convenience.  Those who do choose privacy over convenience find a way to compensate.  If anything, slipping into a pair of sweat shorts could alleviate any exposure before coming out of the shower stalls. 

The press access is a mandate from the NFL and has been in effect for some time now.  All major league sports have them.  Until this changes, players will have to come up with some creative ways to dress while protecting their privacy. 

As far as what I'd advise my son to do, take a pair of sweat shorts into the shower and slip them on before coming out until the NFLPA is able to change the press policy established by the NFL through the CBA.

5. If you had to guess: Of the 50+ male athletes in a NFL locker room, how many do you think were sexually abused as children?

I would venture to say, you're looking at about 45% to 60% of the players in the locker room having experienced one form of sexual abuse or another. 

 




Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: September 16, 2010 11:41 am
 

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II

A few points and questions:

1. The supreme court has never ruled on the issue of locker room access. A district court ruled that women get equal access to locker rooms in Yankee stadium. It also ruled that the Yankees still had to protect the privacy of the players by installing curtains or doors. 

2. I agree that camermen in the locker room are just as intrusive as women reporters. That's why I, like most people, bring up the privacy issue to say that they should all give the players a reasonable chance to shower and dress. It is a flagrant strawman argument when you and the rest of the media equate the question of privacy with the question of privacy from women.

3. NBA players who want privacy have more time and less gear than NFL players. The mechanics of their locker rooms are different. They also have less incidents like this because they have much smaller teams. And yes, the NBA has had problems and issues (ask Alonzo Mourning or Charlie Ward). Also basketballs are better handled by men with unusually long fingers. Take from that whatever you like.

4. Imagine you had a son who became a professional athlete. Imagine he confides in you about how humiliated and degraded he feels when he's disrobed in front of dozens of reporters and camerapersons. He tells you he's afraid to speak up because he's supposed to be a tough guy. He knows that if he does, people will start making comments about the size of his penis. He knows the media will roast him as backward and neanderthal. What advice would you give him?

5. If you had to guess: Of the 50+ male athletes in a NFL locker room, how many do you think were sexually abused as children?

alterdox.blogspot.com



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: September 16, 2010 10:12 am
 

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II

1.  Does my daughter have the hots for Mark Sanchez?  Irrelevant...unless your daughter is a credentialed member of the press and has a press pass, she wouldn't have access to the locker room.  However, if you're thinking that Sainz has the hots for Sanchez...seriously...dude...have you seen the woman?  She can do better...much, much better

2.  I'm a little tired of political correctness being shoved in my face for the sake of political correctness.  How about some common sense?  This so called political correctness has been going on since 1984. 

3.  I gotta side with Bites and recommend excluding all non-team personnel from entering the locker room.  What are they going to get anyway?  Some huge scoop?  It's always, "We put a good plan together as a team" or "We didn't execute and came up short". - While I may agree, here's a question about waiting for the press conference to talk to a player....when was the last time you seen Lawrence Timmons standing at the podium?

4.  You've got 40 some guys like a throbbing pile of cromagnon testosterone.  Comments are going to happen.  It is right?  What should she expect?  I mean, come on. - Interesting that you'd say that...you think with all that testosterone being pumped up...there'd be a lot of complaints from the cheerleaders (who are usually dressed in much, much less).   I'm sorry, when I see the locker room reports, I'm seeing a bunch of tired, worn out guys just wanting to get it over with.  

5.  Michelle Tafoya is apparently peeved about the players comments.  She wants to know why it never happens to her. - yawn...seriously SP.

6.  If my daughter doesn't get locker room access, does this make her a failed journalist?  Is this access so critical to her profession? - Depends on how you see it...how well do you think Myron Copes career would have gone without having the access to players.  Here's a silly question...if your daughter doesn't have the ability to talk to a player...what does she do stalk him?  Failed journalist?  Maybe not, but not all women are happy doing fluff pieces on sports, quite a few like to be taken seriously. 

7.  You can play bumping rap music on the parking lot of a Harley bar....that doesn't make it a good idea. - It also often doesn't result in fights or confrontations  either...I know, I've been to Harley bars  Tongue out

8.  How many women have their boobies all popped out and up and then "get offended" that I'm staring at them?  Come on.  - Sorry, the woman might have shown cleavage...but that's something all women have...we can always find something to blame...guess women should dress in berkas huh?  And apparently the only people whose saying that she's offended are the people who have been saying that she dresses like a ... well...we won't go there. 

9.  If you've got 18 piercings in your face, I'm not giving you a job.  Maybe it's not "Constitutionally Correct", but again, come on.  Stop pushing it.  - denying someone a job because of piercings, dress and appearance is not against the law.  Denying someone a job or preventing them from doing their job because of their sex is. 

10.  A major sport athlete has his juicing flowing, but all of sudden he's supposed to be some perfect gentleman?  That's like taking Casey Hampton to Golden Corral and chastising him for drooling.  - Yes, I know, the smell of icy hot is such an aphrodisiac.  Those juices have slowed down quite enough for them to talk in front of the cameras in a professional manner.   By the way, there's a ten minute cooling down period before the doors even open to the press.  I seriously doubt Rex Ryan, Wade Phillips, or Eric Mangini is a turn on for the men...

11.  I'm just shooting from the hip here.  I think this has been blown up a bit much.  All reporters should be banned, men and women. - Blown up a bit, yeah, kind of the like the death panel debates in the health care reform bill.  Btw...It's the NFL that has mandated that teams provide access to the players in the locker rooms - talk to Roger Goodell on that one.    It's interesting though...you actually don't hear these complaints coming out from the NBA locker rooms (and yes, women do report on the NBA also).




Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: September 16, 2010 9:08 am
 

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II

1.  Does my daughter have the hots for Mark Sanchez?
2.  I'm a little tired of political correctness being shoved in my face for the sake of political correctness.  How about some common sense?
3.  I gotta side with Bites and recommend excluding all non-team personnel from entering the locker room.  What are they going to get anyway?  Some huge scoop?  It's always, "We put a good plan together as a team" or "We didn't execute and came up short".
4.  You've got 40 some guys like a throbbing pile of cromagnon testosterone.  Comments are going to happen.  It is right?  What should she expect?  I mean, come on.
5.  Michelle Tafoya is apparently peeved about the players comments.  She wants to know why it never happens to her.
6.  If my daughter doesn't get locker room access, does this make her a failed journalist?  Is this access so critical to her profession?
7.  You can play bumping rap music on the parking lot of a Harley bar....that doesn't make it a good idea.
8.  How many women have their boobies all popped out and up and then "get offended" that I'm staring at them?  Come on.
9.  If you've got 18 piercings in your face, I'm not giving you a job.  Maybe it's not "Constitutionally Correct", but again, come on.  Stop pushing it.
10.  A major sport athlete has his juicing flowing, but all of sudden he's supposed to be some perfect gentleman?  That's like taking Casey Hampton to Golden Corral and chastising him for drooling.
11.  I'm just shooting from the hip here.  I think this has been blown up a bit much.  All reporters should be banned, men and women.



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: September 16, 2010 8:16 am
 

Jets-Sainz, Can of Worm - Part II

Sometimes I wish I had chosen journalism and/or communications as a career path just so that I could be down on that field or in the booth talking football! (I'm a little too late for that now! LOL)

LOL Tracy..me too.  When I was in high school, I actually looked into journalism as a career...I decided against it because I didn't want to be stuck doing fluff pieces...now ... oh about 30 years later, I, like you think it would be kind of cool talking football with the pro's. 

While Sainz did tweet about being uncomfortable, I saw an interview where she said had taken it and blown it all out of proportion.  As far as the actual incident...while she may have gotten the reaction she wanted...a lot of folks forget there are scantily cladded women on the sidelines every home game.  You'd think the guys by now would be use to seeing beautiful women dressed in a revealing fashion (especially since they share the same building).  Wink


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