Should Female Reporters Be in the NFL Locker Room?

Point of discussion: In mid-September, Ines Sainz, a reporter for TV Azteca, was waiting with 2 male reporters to interview Mark Sanchez of the NY Jets. She later said that she was made to feel uncomfortable in the locker room environment due to some of the men shouting catcalls at her. So, the question is: Should Female Reporters Be in the NFL Locker Room?

Melinda’s Take: The real question is “Why do any reporters, male or female think they should be allowed in the locker room?”

This topic irritates me to no end.  Do reporters ‘want’ to do locker room interviews?  Can’t they wait the 30 minutes or so it takes for a player to get showered and at least semi-dressed?  I don’t see the importance of not waiting it out. What about the WNBA? What is the rule there? Are reporters allowed to do locker room interviews? Just the female reporters? Or do the male reporter have access as well?  It’s a double standard.

Secondly, this specific reporter tweeted that she was embarrassed.  Not because she was being harassed, but because there were many men in various stages of getting dressed within her eye line. Who wouldn’t be somewhat red-faced? I know I’ve never been in that situation and honestly don’t want to be.

Third point I have about this specific reporter as lovely as she is, has to do with professionalism, her image and reputation.   When I was in my mid-twenties, I dressed just like this woman.  Low cut, form-fitting shirts, tight jeans, short skirts and high heels.  I did this for one reason.  I wanted the attention of men. All men.  The only reasoning I can come up for me to dress that way was simple.  I could.  This reporter also wants the attention.  It’s her style.  She’s doesn’t dress professionally as does Suzy Kolber or Hannah Storm or any one of the many other female sports writers and reporters because she doesn’t take her job seriously.  How about the NFL create a “code of conduct” for visiting reporters, including a dress code? Professional attire only

Lisa’s Take: I have strong feelings about this. Women should definitely be in the NFL locker room. How else will you know if these football players are actually in shape? Usually when we see them, they’re up to their eyeballs in shoulder pads. And those helmets – they make it really hard to tell if the guy is good looking or not. Frankly, if a guy looks like Troy Polamalu, I’m not interested in cheering him on. Peyton Manning gets a break with those helmets because they somewhat disguise the fact that he could rent out billboard space on his forehead. Those Oreo commercials let the cat out of the bag on that though.

NFL uniforms, and everything they hide from my prying eyes, can be frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, those tight pants make posteriors super easy to ogle and rate, but pretty much everything else is left up to the imagination. And I’m not that imaginative. It’s very rare to see a player really step up. That’s why I like Visanthe Shiancoe. Back in 2008, it was like he read my mind when he “opened up shop” on live TV. That dude goes above and beyond.

That was my satirical answer. Here’s the real one: Yes, I think that female reporters should be allowed in the NFL locker room. However, I don’t think that female OR male reporters should just be able to mill around back there. If teams want to avoid controversy, they should establish a routine that allows everyone to shower and dress and then let the reporters have access to the guys at their lockers. Is it really that hard to figure out? I mean, those players probably don’t like non-teammates of any kind strolling around while they clean up after a game. Someone tell Goodell to call me. I’ll tell him how to set up a schedule that works for everybody.


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