Stay Out of Locker Room
In the past week, I have seen various female reporters and woman’s groups getting fired up over the decision or lack thereof the NFL made to not punish the Jets for the alleged incident after last weeks loss. And by no means am I condoning any behaviors that can be conceived as harassment. The issue, to me, is that she and her colleges should never have been in the locker room in the first place. After all, even families aren’t allowed in the locker room post-game.
Here’s the solution to the problem, remove ALL reporters from the team locker room and place them in a separate room to do their interviews! There you go equal access. Because it’s not about a Woman’s right to go into a Man’s locker room, it’s about the right to have equal access to players regardless of gender. As a former player, I think that it is ridiculous to have to speak to people while you are fresh out of the shower, trying to get dressed, etc… And let’s be honest, most reporters are only there to interview the same 5 or 6 guys every week anyway.
Contrary to what some reporters, male included, are calling a, “gender neutral area“everyone‘s “work area“. I say it is not. A reporter in a locker room is a courtesy not a right. You do not work for the organization that you cover. Ask anyone who has every showered in a health club or any other open shower setting if they would mind if a few dozen members of the press could come in get some interviews. It isn’t a public area.
I remember being in the locker room and feeling very uncomfortable with the fact that there were women (and to a greater extent people with cameras and whatnot) in there while I was showering, and changing. And yes, I have caught females in the locker room stealing glances or even straight out giggling to someone else. To be fair, I did not know what they were saying, but the timing was suspicious. Please understand that there are more than just reporters in the locker room, its camera people, sound people and whoever else happens be associated with the production that day for various news agencies that has access to team facilities.
An incident that occurred while I was in the locker room that involved a female (I don‘t know if she was a reporter) showing myself and a couple of teammates a photo of a very well muscled teammate of ours. Once over our initial shock of this woman who had the audacity to show us this picture and actually ask us if we knew who it was, we promptly reporter her to our public relations staff. This woman was summarily ejected from the locker room. To this day, I still don’t know who that woman was.
My whole point, ladies and gentlemen, is this. It’s not about what is right or wrong. This isn’t a matter of a woman being denied her rights. This is a matter of what is proper. Men aren’t allowed (with good reason) into woman’s locker rooms because is it not proper? Therefore, women should not be allowed in man’s locker rooms. Now since we don’t want to deny our sisters equal access to players, all reporters should be made to wait in a designated “interview room”. I don’t understand what is so hard about that to figure out.
Ritchie Owens is a former Defensive Lineman in the NFL who played for 10 seasons. He Currently hosts his own show ” Sack Sound with Ritchie Owens” on the Sports Journey Broadcast Network.