Sunday, June 24, 2007

Not an excuse

* (This post is not the first one on the topic, and was written partly in response to comments in earlier posts, so please realize that if you linked here from somewhere else.)

I'm not sure what someone means by saying it doesn't pass a journalism litmus test - is there such a thing?


Suffice it to say, after games, I have multiple stories to write, and I need to get comments quickly. Per MLS policy, the locker rooms are open after the official press conference. Since the Crew had beaten the Galaxy shorthanded, player reaction was extremely important, so when the official word was given that the Crew locker room was open, I only stayed outside their door for a few comments from Sigi Schmid before following a couple of other reporters inside.

Once inside, I recognized Chilean defender Marcos Gonzalez. He looked startled to see me, but that's not unusual, especially among Hispanic athletes, who don't see a lot of women covering sports. He had a towel wrapped around him, and that followed the mostly covered up rule, so I started to approach him, thinking it would be good to ask him about Guillermo's addition to the team - from a South American perspective. However, he had the weirdest look on his face as I got closer, so I changed my mind and decided to interview Ned Grabavoy instead. Ned was across the room, so I turned my back on Gonzalez and walked away from him, to where a couple of other reporters were stationed in front of Ned's locker. Incidently, Ned had a towel, too. I placed my recorder in front of Ned and waited my turn to ask a question.

Suddenly I heard Gonzalez calling out, "Miss, miss," in Spanish. Next thing I know is not only had he crossed the room to where I was, but he had taken a hold of my elbow and was trying to steer me out the door. He told me, in Spanish, that he didn't feel comfortable with a woman in the locker room and that I needed to leave right away. None of the other reporters knew Spanish, so they didn't know what he was talking about, because I was trying to ignore him. He raised his voice and pushed my shoulder to get my attention. In Spanish, I told Gonzales that I needed locker room access and that I was there to do my job. It didn't faze him - he countered with an offer for me to interview players outside or to come back in after everyone was dressed.

I shook my head and he began to rant about how unreasonable I was being, how he couldn't get dressed with me in the room, etc. I pulled free and tried to get back to my interview. Gonzales kept yelling at me. No one did anything. In hindsight, I was so shaken up, I didn't process that he was speaking Spanish most of the time, and they could have not realized what was going on. He actually switched to English at one point, saying "Not here, you must go outside, now."

I was extremely uncomfortable, and yet I was only trying to do my job. Finally he went away.

Here's the thing where the "God wants modesty" argument falls flat. Players can easily be modest. In the locker room towels are abundant. Players will often come out of the showers with a towel wrapped around their torso, and just pull both their underwear and their pants on before pulling the towel off. It's not that hard, and no one sees anything that one wouldn't see on a public beach. Some players who might worry that a towel could drop off at this maneuver just come out with the towel wrapped around themselves, grab their pants and underwear and go back around the corner towards the shower (no such thing as shower access to the media) to put that on quickly before returning to the locker room. The visitors locker room has a coaches room off to the side that a player could duck into if he's extremely shy.

But even if all that fails, if the wrong moment absolutely happens and a towel drops just as I'm looking around for someone to interview, I think it's crap to pull out the "I've sinned in the eyes of God excuse" and that justifies trying to force someone from doing their job. Come on, if a friend is visiting and walks into the wrong bathroom at the wrong time, is that anything like cheating? What if all the male reporters in the locker room are gay? Do they get a pass on the assumption that that isn't true?

Think about it. You're at work, trying to do your job and someone comes up to you and starts yelling at you to get out, to go away. You'd be completely calm? You'd think that was fine, acceptable behavior because they don't want God mad at them?

I had a hard time focusing after that, and had trouble even remembering what questions I was going to ask. I left quickly after my last interview, since I still had to get quotes from the Galaxy. I forgot completely that I'd been hoping to talk to Guille about joining MLS and helping the Crew.

"Hola senorita," said a quiet voice as I stalked out of the locker room. I didn't turn around, or respond, because I just wanted to get out of there. Only when I was already out in the hallway did I think, "Hey, that might have been Guille, and I was just kind of rude because I'm so upset. Damn it."

66 comments:

Sean said...

Frustrating that this is still an issue after all these years. You were absolutely within your rights, Andrea, and it sounds like you handled it as well as it could have been.

Someone (who speaks frickin' Spanish) needs to have a quiet word with Marcos about this situation ... I'm curious if the general disinterest among mainstream sports journalists in the beautiful game has resulted in him not learning how things work in US pro locker rooms after 2+ years?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you handled it well and stood your ground, even though you were shaken up.

I do find it obnoxious that Gonzalez wanted you to leave - if he's that modest, he can go somewhere else to change.

L.B. said...

I stayed outside the Crew locker room as Andrea and some others darted inside. We had all been talking to Sigi. By the time I went inside to talk to Crew players, Andrea was talking to Ned, as were a few other writers. I waited for Chad Marshall to put on his shoes before we talked briefly about the game.

When I was done, I spotted Eddie Gaven and talked to him and lost track of Andrea. I had no idea Marcos had been an asshole to her.

The Crew is back out here in three weeks time, and she can rest assured that no one's going to make her feel uncomfortable that night.

Anonymous said...

You know what really bothers me about all this? That he tried to physically force you outside.

He can just say "No, I'm not comfortable talking with you right now, can you wait a minute, or can we talk outside?"

That's within his right. But to try to push you outside? Lame.

Regarding modesty, I don't like to change in the communal dressing areas (even though they're just for women) at the gym. So I take all my clothes to the shower and change there. Why can't Gonzalez do the same?

Crewcat said...

That's a much more expanded report Andrea than the original "Marcos is an ass" that I responded to originally from Luis.

You handled a situation admirably that no one should have to encounter. I certainly hope it was just an understanding on Marcos' part and suggest you may want to approach/contact Eddie Carvacho of the Crew for comments or just to voice your concerns. Props once again and keep up the good reporting both of you.

A.C. said...

I did send an email with the relevant facts to the Crew's press officer, who, I'll add, wasn't present, I don't think, because he was still outside with Sigi.

I'll also add that though I don't think Marcos had any right to either raise his voice at or touch me, it wasn't as if he grabbed me and dragged me across the room. I never really moved from where I was standing in front of Ned.

A.C. said...

What I also found strange was that I'd already given up on talking to Marcos. That look of his made it clear it was a bad idea. I wasn't trying to talk to him at all. I had my back to him, and he could have changed without any worry. He came over to me, while I was talking to someone else entirely, and told me to leave. It was just weird.

I have no problem with players who refuse interviews. Sometimes people just don't want to talk. Cobi Jones was that way last night - but it wasn't a case of him refusing to speak to me because I'm female. He passed on all media requests for interviews. He treated me like everyone else, and that's completely fair.

Bill Archer said...

Well what I found "strange" was that not once, not twice but THREE times in your little screed you pitched into God zbout the whole thing.

You don't indicate that Gonzo said anything about God. Did you forget to mention that part? I bet not - if he'd have said it you would have just LOVED to write it.

I know religion-bashing is deriguerre right now, and you're just pitching in. Of course, if he was a Moslem you wouldn't have gone anywhere near him, because THAT would have been culturally "insensitive" and disrespectful but because you make the assumption that his modesty is based on Christian beliefs, then hey, what a jerk, right?

SO leaving aside the question of why you feel Gonzalez has no right to personal privacy - based on his cultural upbringing, which is not American so you can't bash it - I'd just like to ask:

What in the world propmted your anti-God rant? Can't you stick to the facts?

Laurie said...

Silly man. Doesn't he realize that when you've seen one...

Oh. Sorry. :-)

What I mean, of course, is that you're good at what you do, you handled this professionally, and with luck you'll be a part of changing things in the longterm.

Hang in there!

A.C. said...

I don't think I am anti-God. I think God's a good guy. I don't believe God should be used as an excuse to treat others with disrespect, however. I tried to give Marcos space. I wasn't going to interview him. I was talking to other players.
Someone had mentioned in the comments about Marcos and his behavior being motivated by religious impulse, so that's why I addressed it, also, because it was brought up by Reggie White and Charlie Ward in that article I attached.
It doesn't matter what religion someone is when religion is used as an excuse to try to nullify someone's right to work on equal ground with other reporters. Dave Checketts is Mormon and the rights of female reporters was exactly what he defended.

foto said...

Something I'm not clear about...did Gonzalez ever mention God? You don't say that he did, but you address God in you rresponse. Another poster seemed to ask this same question, but you didn't really answer it.

J.S. said...

That was not cool. I don'tknow what to say. You were in the right the whole way and handled yourself like a professional.
If you need some back up to watch your back when he comes back, SIGN ME UP!!
You and Luis do anadmirable job with this blog and deserve to respected for your hard work.

A.C. said...

I didn't record Marcos. I wish I had. I'm going off my memory and considering that I was still pretty amazed that he was trying to order me out of the locker room when I'd done nothing to him, I wasn't paying attention to every word. In the main, he said he couldn't undress while I was there, he wanted me to go outside and wait for players, that I needed to understand that the locker room was sacred and that it wasn't right for a woman to be there, that he personally, couldn't have me there, because it was against his beliefs, that I needed to leave right away please, and that he was sorry, but it needed to happen right away.

As far as I can recall, the word God was never mentioned. But I never said he did mention it. I was responding to a comment someone made speculating Marcos' motivation.

To clarify - I don't know what moved Marcos to behave the way he did. If it was God, (in his mind, at least, as seemed to be the case with Ward and White in the other article) my point was that God is not an excuse. He could have changed elsewhere, either in the shower hallway or the coaches' locker room. Or he could have just waited for me to leave. I wasn't there that long.

glyconerd said...

Wow, he is an asshole. The nerve of him to think he can handle a journalist that way for being female . He's not in Latin America anymore. I'm sorry that happened to you, A.C. Thanks for what you do.

Anonymous said...

Have some respect. The man didn't want you in the locker room. If it were the other way around (male reporter in female locker room) you wouldn't argue the reporter's case. You have no "right" to invade his privacy.

Anonymous said...

I doubt very much there would be any sympathy for a male reporter in a female locker room who refused to leave when informed that the ladies wanted to get dressed and were uncomfortable due to his presence.

A.C. said...

I don't have any problem with a male reporter in a female locker room if that's established league policy and all reporters are granted access.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, but were male reporters allowed to walk into the WUSA's locker rooms while the ladies were undressed?

A.C. said...

No, the WUSA didn't have locker room access for reporters of either gender. Press protocol was a mixed zone post-game. As I said in my earlier post. I don't mind a mixed zone at all. But that's not what MLS has - it has locker room access, so that's what reporters have to participate in if they want to do their job.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps that policy was decided to avoid male reporters from entering a female locker room.

Maybe this shows it is time for MLS to adopt the same policy.

Longshoe said...

If they adopt that penalty, and enforce for everyone, then I don't see anyone having a problem with it.

glyconerd said...

To say A.C. was invading his privacy is silly since there were other reporters there. A.C. wasn't even talking to him..For a player to try to take matter into his own hands by force is unacceptable.

sally said...

A.C. you damsel in distress, don't you know that Marco was just trying to protect your honor and virtue? That's what all the men raised south of the border try to do, their machismo upbringing does not make any allowances. If you look like you could be their sister they will treat you with such rudeness believing it to be an act of chivalry, so feel honored......yeah right!!!

Anonymous said...

Andrea,

let me just add, to what I'm sure many have said, and say that what you experienced was uncalled for (on top of being very uncool).

I hope the Crew and Gonzalez apologize to you.

Y si no, pues dime y le hablo a mis primos de la trece para ver que se puede hacer.

Hope you feel better,

-- Jaime

Anonymous said...

Maybe that is not MLS policy, but let me ask this. Would AC be comfortable standing in a towel in front of a man she never met coming towards her? You made it a point to mention that you were ignoring him when he was asking you to leave. It sounds like both parties did not handle the situation in the most ideal manner.

A.C. said...

I didn't ignore him the whole time. I told him that I was sorry, but that I was there to do my work. Then I ignored him.

I've been very uncomfortable while wearing a paper gown, and a man approaches me, but I never interfere with the doctor's work or presume he is doing anything other than his job whenever I need a check up.

taker_racing said...

Andrea,
Let me start in saying I typically enjoy and respsect your work. MG is wrong to have laid a finger on you. You are not in the right to have taken this to blogosphere rather than adressing it with CREW, LA, or MLS brass or a combination of the above before doind so.
Bringing the God references and assumptions into your blog (and reread it, you say nothing about conjecture from elsewhere as to why MG did not feel you being there was correct, there's no transition) brings your level of work in this case to barely tabloid fodder.
I'm sorry this happened. I can't fault you for being offended and angry. I believe you were both in the wrong in handling the situation.

A.C. said...

Taker racing, perhaps you followed a link here, but this was not my first post on the topic.

Luis knew what happened because I told him when I got back to the press box. He put his post up - basically referencing that Marcos hadn't behaved well.

Before I posted anything myself, I sent an email to league officials, and the Crew's press officers about the incident. I didn't talk to them at the game because they were gone by the time I'd interviewed the Galaxy players.

Afterwards, I decided to post a blog entry that focused on the fact that I had a job to do and Gonzalez had interfered.

In that post, I only mentioned that Marcos yelled at me, and refrained from offering details. Then the comments to that post were a lot of speculation, and that's where God came up. I decided then it was unfair to leave our blog readers guessing as to the extent of what took place and provided all the details, and also responded to some of the speculation while referencin an article I'd linked on women in locker rooms (I was in fact trying to keep the topic more global and vague in the early posts, then I realized that some people were imagining the situation as even worse than it was, so I got specific).
If you read only this one post, it lacks context.

DCSportsChick said...

A.C., I commend you for standing up for yourself. Shame on Gonzalez for trying to push you out. If he can't handle media attention (male OR female), he shouldn't be playing.

Pissed off said...

A.C.,

Let me say that i don't think Marcos had any reason to yell or touch you in any way.

First of all the difference between a doctor and new reporter are way different. first YOU pay for a doctor. I don't see pro athletes paying for locker room interviews.

Marcos is a very faithful man to his wife for one. As stated earlier some Latin men have very different views on "sexual misconduct", whether its a form of religious or marital beliefs.

I have known Marcos since he and his family first moved to the U.S.
He is not a bad guy in anyway and to be made out to be is wrong.

And for DCSPORTSCHICK, to say that a player who doesnt want "media attention" when he's naked in a locker room shouldnt be a player is utterly disrespectful, to a ton of athletes who prefer to keep a more private life, while nude.

Wendall said...

I think the bigger issue here is locker room access. The players have just finished doing their job, they should be able to unwind, chat with their teammates, enjoy the victory or lament the loss without having tape recorders shoved in their faces WHILE THEY ARE CHANGING.

I don't agree with the player's reaction since locker room since it is the current rule, but as a player I'd much prefer to be able to use the locker room as a place to get changed rather than an interview room.

The adoring public can wait an extra 20 minutes til they're done with their shower and come to an interview area. This removes all chance of females or gay males or whatever other reason you want to throw out there creating a conflict between players and reporters.

Anonymous said...

I would consider myself fairly feminist, and I still think he was well within his rights to ask you to leave while he changes. He even offered an interview outside after he changed.

I think athletes should be allowed their privacy, regardless of what you think you're entitled to because of your job.

Oh, and the doctor analogy is a bit rich. Apples and oranges.

-Rebecca

A.C. said...

I wasn't interviewing him, Rebecca. I was trying to talk to his teammate. On deadline, I can't wait outside for quotes.

You're right, the doctor analogy doesn't work - Marcos could have changed elsewhere easily - patients don't have that option.

People Ready said...

Tough situation, but there are already so many demands on pro athletes - are they entitled to a little privacy? i think so. i mean, it's a damn locker room. we're all adults, but people should be able to shower and get nekkit and get dressed without having to look over their shoulders, and without having to pull some boxers-on-under-the-towel chicanery.

i understand the women's rights issues, and we should try to address them, but i'm more in favor of personal, indivdual privacy.

there are plenty of options that might work, such as banning all reporters from the locker room.

and the 'deadline' excuse is just not credible. the locker room is for team members/players/coaches/etc - not reporters.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe this shows it is time for MLS to adopt the same policy."

Soon as it's 1977 again, they'll do that.

"and the 'deadline' excuse is just not credible. the locker room is for team members/players/coaches/etc - not reporters."

God, you're an idiot. When sports allow reporters in the locker room, the locker room IS for reporters, jackass.

Trust me when I tell you this: the pro or college sports locker room is the absolute WORST place to try and do your job. There is NOTHING good about it. But it is what it is. Equal access for everybody was decided a long, long time ago, Cochise. Sorry you missed it - it was in all the papers.

Another internet wank with absolutely no clue what he's opining about claiming he has all the answers.

Anonymous said...

I can understand his feeling that he should be allowed to change without women around, but it's moreso an unfortunate fact that the open locker room rule is in place (and must rightfully apply equally to both male and female reporters).

NOTE: it doesn't matter that you were "ignoring him and talking to other players". You were in the room and that made him feel uncomfortable.

I think the policy is wrong, but in context you were absolutely right to act the way you did (and the man had NO right to touch you).

Btw, sally, ("That's what all the men raised south of the border try to do") maybe toning down the bigotted talk might help you understand men some day.

Catamount said...

Having had a stint as a freelance sports journalist and a beat writer, I can tell you that deadlines are critical. It is a competitive game. If all reporters must wait for interviews then it is fair to everyone. If any reporter is singled out for greater restrictions it causes unfair advantages. The publications will take articles from the people with the most access.

Locker room access creates a different atmosphere than press rooms, which are easy for players to avoid. Most reporters like locker room access because they can ask questions of all the players when things are fresh and it saves 20-40 minutes against the deadline.

I must say Andrea, you one of the most gifted writers in the game of soccer. You weave your stories around the quotes of the individuals involved. Your interviews generate candid comments that have great immediacy and relevance. I personally Google you daily to find all of your work. I have learned much from it. It would be a shame if locker room access were denied to you and your colleagues.

MFW said...

I'm sorry I don't agree with your attitude and having been both a player and now a journalist I still believe there should be no locker room access to journalists cameras and whatever.

It is a place to voice your opinion with your mates after crucial matches and not a place where interviews should be done.

Anonymous said...

"Players will often come out of the showers with a towel wrapped around their torso, and just pull both their underwear and their pants on before pulling the towel off. It's not that hard, and no one sees anything that one wouldn't see on a public beach. Some players who might worry that a towel could drop off at this maneuver just come out with the towel wrapped around themselves, grab their pants and underwear and go back around the corner towards the shower (no such thing as shower access to the media) to put that on quickly before returning to the locker room. The visitors locker room has a coaches room off to the side that a player could duck into if he's extremely shy."

I can't imagine anything more awkward, demeaning, or frustrating than having to go through all that just to have some privacy while getting dressed.

I wouldn't want to have to get dressed in front of male reporters and so dressing in front of someone from the opposite sex would be that much more uncomfortable. So to a point, I can certainly sympathize with Marcos or any athlete of any sex who doesn't feel comfortable in that situation.

Now having said all that, the rules are the rules and if the MLS or any other sports league opens the locker room, they have to open it to all reporters regardless of sex... Marcos should voice his frustration with the league and their policy instead of lashing out at you.

He clearly crossed the line when he put his hands on you. and you were right to report the incident to the league and club.

Ray said...

It seems to me that there was a clash of culture. I just scanned through the entire thread, and I have a few comments.

While I do not condone what took place in the locker room, I question the appropriateness of your ongoing thread--for two reasons:

1) You are steadfastly portraying only one side of the story.

2) You are using this public forum as your primary means of resolution.

I would find your approach more credible were you to have reached out (through appropriate channels) for the other side of the story. If no response was forthcoming, at least you would have taken the high ground.

You made this incident public via this blog; therefore it is your responsibility to report on its resolution. Anything else is akin to character assassination.

You spend a lot of time in your responses dismissing Gonzalez's motives. How do you know what was in his head if you do not ask?

By making this incident public, you place your credibility at stake.

To summarize, my issue is not with the incident. It is your handling of it within this forum that raises some questions.

DCSportsChick said...

Pissed off,
A real professional would be used to media attention of any kind; that's why they're called "professionals". The other players don't seem to have a problem with it, or at a minimum they're able to function with media in the locker room after a match (which, believe it or not, is a common occurrence). Why is it so hard for Gonzalez?

A.C. said...

I'm not questioning anyone's motives. I'm responding to questions about the incident. I don't know what Marcos' motives were and I never pretended to. Other people have raised possible motives and I've responded with why, in my personal experience, those motives don't justify what happened. There has been no character assassination by me. I haven't talked about anyone's character at all. I've tried to talk about what happened and why I believe it should not have happened.
But I am done, because at this point, even trying to politely respond to questions - is being taken as some crusade of mine, when I didn't even want to go into any of this other than to say it took place, it sucked, and I hope it doesn't happen again.
I'm not holding any side of the story back. If you read more recent posts, you'll see updates.

PB said...

Given the fact that this incident has not been picked up by the Main Stream Media at any point, and I was pointed here by a hockey blog, I think the way you handled the situation was the best way possible.

If he was that concerned, he could have gotten dressed and back to the locker room area. Michael Jordan was known to do that (according to his biographies by Bob Greene).

It truly stinks that this happened to you.

Anonymous said...

After reading most of the comments, I'd like to post one thought that many seem to forget. Yes, she was a woman entering a male locker room, yes there could be issues there depending on the person. However, for a WOMAN to make it in a MAN'S world, she needs to be allowed EQUAL access. Marcos' offering her an interview outside of the locker room was great, but it is not going to cut it.

I am a female working in the male sports world and this is a fight I have every day. I have both male and female athletes around me daily, but the days that I am meeting with strictly the males, I find myself dressing like a nun to prevent any issues. HOW'S THAT FOR FAIR!

I commend you for what you have done and how you have handled the recent ranting of posts. I hope more instances like this do not arise in your future and you can just do what you love to do.

L.B. said...

I agree with the last post. There are double standards across the board for women, and it gets taken to the next level in male-dominated professions like sports.

In general, if a man is aggressive with what he does in his job, he's seen as a go-getter and that is a positive. If a woman is aggressive with what she does in her job, then she's just a b****.

And that's sad.

Anonymous said...

Male reporters would never be permitted access to a female locker room in the U.S.

Why? Because of our cultural norms.

Why is it inconceivable that, or why is Gonzo an "asshole" because, the cultural norms of his country would never permit a female access to a male locker room?

Gonzo's reaction is predictable, as is the idiotic and culturally insensitive PC condemnation of it here.

A.C. said...

Male reporters do go into female locker rooms in the WNBA. What apparently happens there, though, is that most female athletes are either dressed when the locker room media time begins, or they wait until the media leave, or they take their clothes and change in the training room or shower room. They don't order the media out until the press time - usually around 20 minutes, is up.

I was in the locker room for far less time.

A.C. said...

OK, now, this is really my last comment on this post. Please realize, though, that this was not the first post on the topic. Go back to the blog and you'll see that the first post wasn't even mine.

It was Luis who posted both Marcos' name and his reaction to what Marcos did. I didn't ask for that statement or approve it. Luis has full editing rights to this blog, and he always has had that.

That evening, I wrote my articles and then emailed the league and Crew officials about the incident. My first post on the topic was an article about women's rights as reporters in the locker room.

In the second one, I tried to focus on my need to do my job, and left out most of the details of what Marcos did. The comments there were full of speculation, wondering why Luis was upset if someone just yelled, and one was a post saying that Marcos was very religious and that's why he would behave that way.
Thats when I wrote this third post. I realize that because it has the most detail, it was the one that most people linked, but it's not the first one.
I didn't name Marcos first or talk about what happened first. I didn't ask anyone else too, either.
I never called him a name.
I tried to contact Crew officials that evening over the incident.
But even if I had gotten a hold of them right then and there, whatever they said or did would not take back what had already taken place. Anyone who believes that a reporter's job, at any level, is to keep quiet about things that actually took place in the course of their job, and about a league, at some level, falling down on their job, doesn't understand the profession.

Anonymous said...

Actually I would have to agree with some people that you were the rude one. If I was a reporter in a women's locker room and one of them felt uncomfortable and asked me to leave so she could finish dressing, then I'm sure my refusal would come off as being a jerk. So, instead of just leaving the locker room and taking the high ground...it looks like he stooped to your level.

Anonymous said...

Wow, your a real bitch. If he feels uncomfortable with you seeing him and his team as they are, you have to respect that. He even said he would give you an interview outside the locker room. And you rudely denied him even that.

And don't try to use that equality BS. There is no equality in America. Men aren't allowed in most female locker rooms. Women don't have to participate in the draft. I could go on and on, but I think that the most important one is that only a woman could get away with the rudeness you showed, and then STILL felt that you were done some wrong.

Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Media Access to Locker Rooms: MLS requires that the Team dressing rooms must be opened to the media no later than 10 minutes after a game (referred to as “cooling down” period). In addition, players must be made available to media prior to games up until 60 minutes before kickoff. A team may, at its discretion,
a) open its locker room to media during this pregame period OR
b) ensure that a Public Relations staff member be stationed outside the locker room to make any interview requests on behalf of media members. A team must adhere to one of those two means of pregame media access throughout the season and playoffs. Pregame media access procedure must be properly communicated to all relevant security personnel. Any violations of these rules may result in fines.

Team PR directors should be present to signal the beginning of media locker access period before and after League games.

Exceptional circumstances may require players to be available to media outside these windows including for national broadcast partners to conduct taped interviews before and after games for use on same-day broadcasts.

“Media” consists of the following categories of working professionals who hold appropriate credentials: writers, photographers, radio and television sportscasters and their crews. No individuals other than League or Team representatives or members of the media shall be allowed in Team locker rooms following a game. It is left to the discretion of each Team PR Director whether to permit the entry of accredited photographers into locker rooms.

Under no circumstances shall any club discriminate in any fashion against an accredited member of the media based upon race, creed, sex or national origin.

TRATAMIENTO DE LOS MEDIOS DE COMUNICACIÓN ACREDITADOS

Acceso de los medios de comunicación a los vestuarios. La MLS requiere que los vestuarios de los equipos deberán estar abiertos a los medios no más tarde de 10 minutos después de un partido (referido como periodo de “enfriamiento o regeneración”). Además, los jugadores deben estar disponibles para los medios hasta 60 minutos antes del inicio de los partidos. Cada equipo podrá, a su discreción,
a) abrir su vestuario a los medios durante este periodo antes del partido O
b) asegurar que un miembro del departamento de Relaciones Públicas esté presente fuera del vestuario para dirigir cualquier petición de entrevistas en nombre de los miembros de los medios.

Cada equipo debe Cumplir con una de estas medidas de acceso previo a los partidos por parte de los medios a lo largo de la temporada y los playoffs. El procedimiento de acceso de los medios previo a los partidos debe ser comunicado debidamente a todo el personal relevante de seguridad. Cualquier violación de estas reglas puede resultar en la aplicación de multas.

Los directores de Relaciones Públicas de los equipos deben estar presentes para señalar el inicio del periodo de acceso a los vestuarios por parte de los medios antes y después de partidos de Liga.

Algunas circunstancias excepcionales podrían requerir que los jugadores estén a disposición de los medios fuera de estos periodos, incluyendo entrevistas grabadas antes y después de los partidos para uso en retransmisiones del mismo día a través de nuestros socios en retransmisión nacional.

Los •”medios” se componen de las siguientes categorías de profesionales activos que portan credenciales apropiadas: prensa escrita, fotógrafos, locutores de radio y televisión y sus equipos. Ningún individuo salvo los representantes de la Liga o el Equipo o miembros de los medios serán admitidos en el vestuario del equipo después de un partido. Se deja a discreción de cada Relaciones Públicas del equipo el permitir la entrada a los vestuarios a fotógrafos acreditados.

Bajo ninguna circunstancia puede un club discriminar en ningún modo a un miembro acreditado de los medios por motivos de raza, credo, sexo o nacionalidad.

bwild said...

Wow. Reading some of the ignorant comments calling you a bitch and claiming one player should be able to stop you from doing your job on an equal basis with your journalistic peers reminds me that there's a lot of hatred of strong women left among many of us.

You were following the reporter rules set up by MLS. You were doing your job. If any one player has a problem with that, let him go try to intimidate an MLS official instead of you.

Anonymous said...

It is completely wrong for you to be allowed in the mens locker room. I do not care what anyone says ... you are there because it gives you a cheap thrill to see naked men when they do not want you there. This is some sort of twisted control issue you have.

Anonymous said...

If I were Gonzalez, I would have called the police and had you arrested for harassment. Whether or not you have the "right" to be in the mens locker room as determined by a female judge, you can still be arrested and convicted for harassment if your actions are found to be reasonably objectionable to the victim. Your actions are certainly reasonable objectionable to Gonzalez, and are to most men. You are just taking advantage of a very strange law.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe you are comparing yourself to a doctor!
A doctor has spent many years of his life preparing to help sick people who really need his help.
You spend your time embarrassing and humiliating innocent men.
You have a bad case of paraphilia.

Anonymous said...

I find the issue perplexing since some of your comments are silly.
You say in your original post that there is "...no shower access to the media..". That's crazy since some locker rooms have showers in the middle and lockers surrounding. Sometimes lockers and showers are together. Why are you pulling this privacy crap on us. Also you said that you ignored the Spanish dude, and looked around for some one else to interview. Well how many naked players did you see with this look?
Why not just be honest and say that you see naked players all the time.
What's with this towel crap? It has been said that Lisa Olsen positioned herself just to be able to watch players shower. I think any self respecting female reporter would openly be advocating opening up the women's locker room. But excuses take over so it will never happen.

Anonymous said...

Please stop it. Women belong at home taking care of children, family and community. When the Arabs win, which is what all you liberals want, you men better be ready to toe the line and ladies, "get your bodies covered".

flumoxxed said...

What an amazing sense of entitlement. An absolute feminazi. So the player has to go elsewhere and use a towel to change!!! Duplicity and double standards galore. The flimsy argument was of course given a bit of a twist by taking the God reference. This was a tactic to get the atheists on your side. Now I am an atheist and I find the reasoning as inexplicable as the Rebecca, the feminist above has found your argument.

One could have understood if you took care to explain the laws to him. But no you and your amazing sense of entitlement meant that he has to look for privacy while you try to make the player's locker room your own! Heh. Feminazism unleashed. And I am pretty sure that you would shout on rooftops if men wandered around naked female athletes. As someone above said, its only the stupid law which protected you being incarcerated because of voyeurism and being a pervert. And that doctor analogy makes me wonder, how did you ever become a journo?

And don't give the excuse that "other people were OK with it". Ever heard of individual rights? Ever heard about Ayn Rand? So if every woman in your neighborhood is ok if they are molested, would that be reason enough to molest you too?

The guy had every reason to protest. You are lucky that you were gently nudged to leave. In a fair and perfect world , you should have been 'bounced' out of the room. Thats because any man entering the female locker room would have been given the exact same treatment. If this strange law persists, the best way for male athletes would be to protest by showing sheer diffidence to your questions. In any other job, if a man accidentally exposes himself, he would be sued for indecent exposure. Here its ok. You are lucky that the Hispanic guy whom you disparaged was a nice guy. Because it would be perfectly ok for a male athlete to whack off while checking you out while answering your question. You are intruding his privacy. Not the other way round. You should adjust. Not him in HIS changing room.

Anonymous said...

There is undoubtedly an unfair sexist double-standard regarding locker room access. Reporters of both genders have access to male locker rooms, but access to female locker rooms is restricted. Women's rights to privacy and dignity are maintained, while males are not given the same consideration. So one gender has their locker room open to all, yet the other gender is given special rights of privacy. Women can barge in on naked men while they are trying to change and shower, yet males cannot enter the sanctity of the female locker room. How is this "equal"?

Feministic female reporters like to brag about "breaking the barrier to men's locker rooms" but have no problem with the barrier that remains to female locker rooms. They try to publicly justify entering the male dressing rooms by claiming that "it's necessary to get that important quote'. So why do they have no problem staying out of female athletes locker rooms? Certainly there are big female sporting events (like the WNBA Championship) and yet even then these female reporters don't demand unrestricted locker room access to the women. Suddenly getting that important quote isn't so important after all. So if it was purely a professional desire to do their job as they claim, then we would expect them to demand the same complete and unrestricted access to female athletes. But they don't. Why not? Perhaps it's because they don't get the same voyeuristic perks by entering a female locker room as they experience when entering male locker rooms. So they are willing to sacrifice the quality of their coverage in order to accommodate female modesty. Female reporters only fought to have MALE locker rooms opened up. They are more than happy to keep female locker rooms closed.

In any case what we have is a completely unfair and sexist situation. Males should have the same rights to privacy as females. If the locker rooms of athletes are going to be open to the media then BOTH genders locker rooms should be open. If the locker rooms are going to be closed to the media (probably the better solution) then BOTH genders locker rooms should be closed. Female athletes shouldn't get special considerations or be given any different treatment than male athletes.

The reason that this unfair situation developed in the first place is because we men have not stood up and defended our rights vigorously. The feministic, sexist female reporters pushed their gender agenda forward by complaining and filing lawsuits. Unfortunately the male reporters are too weak or cowardly to do the same thing. Males need to learn to fight for our rights too, instead of passively accepting these infringements. Male reporters need to become organized and unified and DEMAND EQUAL ACCESS TO FEMALE ATHLETES! Just have some balls and walk into the WNBA locker room and refuse to leave until you've got all your quotes. That's what the women did to us. When male reporters are thrown out and mocked they need to write a story complaining about it in their newspaper. They also need to file complaints with the league. It is the same parent company that owns the NBA and the WNBA yet they have different locker room access policies depending on the gender of the athletes. If the athletes are male (NBA) then the locker room is open to the media until the final reporter leaves. This is usually several hours after the game. Consequently the male athletes have no opportunity to change or shower in private. The female athletes (WNBA) are given a much different locker room policy. Their locker room is only open for 20 minutes after the game. During this time the women remain clothed while they talk to reporters. Then all the media is escorted out of the locker room so that the women can change and shower in private! Why isn't the same consideration given to the male athletes? Clearly this is a sexually discriminatory policy. Male reporters should sue the parent company of the NBA/WNBA for having a sexually discriminatory policy in place which is denying them access based on the athletes' gender. Also, members of the sports media should BOYCOTT COVERING ANY FEMALE PROFESSIONAL SPORT THAT DOES NOT GRANT THEM THE SAME UNRESTRICTED ACCESS THAT MALE ATHLETES PROVIDE! If women want equal coverage then they should have to provide equal access. If male reporters did this in unison then the sexist leagues that control female sports (like the WNBA) would be forced to change their policies. A blackout would cost them too much in lost revenue and female professional and college sports would be forced to capitulate.

Male athletes and their player unions should also demand equal policies. The NBA players' union should file a lawsuit against the league demanding the same media access policy be applied to both genders. So whatever the policy is, open or closed locker room, it should be the same for ALL athletes regardless of gender. Only then would we truly have "equal access".

Finally, male sports fans should send letters to the media and the sports leagues demanding the same locker room policies and coverage be applied to both genders.

Of course, you'll never hear feminists talk about this. Feminists only believe in a one-sided, unilateral version of "equality'. They are nothing more than sexist pigs who manipulate equality legislation to suit their own agenda. They only support equality initiaves that benefit women, not that achieve REAL equal treatment of the genders.The feminists are more than happy with the current, unfair situation that exists. In fact, they commend this absurdity as a victory for the women's movement.

The bottom line is that the current situation is clearly unfair and must be changed. The reason it's unfair is because only women's voices have been heard. Women did all of the complaining and filed lawsuits and men sat back and took it. Men are generally conditioned by society to "Just grin and bear it". We are taught not to complain. Women, on the other hand, are most happy when they are complaining. However, this is the modern world. Only those who assert themselves and make their voices heard, and are willing to back it up with political, economic, and legal tactics, get justice. We men have to start organizing, protesting and fighting for OUR rights. We have to file lawsuits too, just like the feminists did, and FORCE CHANGE. Otherwise the feminists' sexist agendas will continue to be advanced and men's' rights will continue to be trampled on.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what the last person said. Its all right for a woman to have privacy but not a man? Just because women are "less" aroused by the nudity of a man than a man looking at a nude woman? WTF?! Who can say that to be true anyway? How can that even be proven? I happened to stumble on this fact of women being allowed in mens lockers rooms and I was appalled! I quickly did a search and found this. How dare women be 'hurt' about the fact that they can't be present in a men's locker room. That is their PRIVACY and everyone has a right to that being male or female. Again, how dare you. I am a female and i'm glad that male reporters aren't allowed in my locker room, and if silly people like you ruin that for me...ruin my right to privacy, i say shame on you. Shame on you for crying like a little baby because you can't get your story. Boo hoo, life isnt always fair, but when your dealing with someone's right to privacy, then on your end it DEMANDS to be unfair.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing that female reporters are so offended and so rightous about what they determine to be sexist attitudes by male atheletes but make no effort what so ever to address the double standard of protecting female athelete's privacy. You are intruding on these men's privacy, it isn't you as a female reporter they have a problem with, it is you in an place were society has determined is proper for same gender only. If the male janitor walks into the locker room of your local gym to clean while you are showering...not a problem? He would be fired or arrested for just being a professional and doing his job. Female reporters claim victim status for invading these men's privacy, but do nothing to try to change the double standard, they are just following the rules right...yet I have yet to see a female reporter using their forum to challenge the double standard and open female locker rooms like they did to get access to male locker rooms. I still recall all the heat put on male players by the media when they resisted females in the locker room, where is all that concern about fair and equality when it comes to female locker rooms. When you fight to open up female locker rooms as well as males, you might have a little better position to argue from, until then your just someone who is only worried about yourself, not the what you are doing to the male athelete who becasue of upbringing or culture feels uncomfortable becasue of your presence in what should be a private area. Again I ask, would you accept a male janitor being present while you are showering? Doubt it

Anonymous said...

Privacy is an individual right not subject to a league's rules. The right to privacy begins with the body. A person who is reduced to a towel in front of strangers of the opposite sex without consent has had the privacy right literally stripped away.

Anonymous said...

Lie #1. Reporters can't write a story without player quotes.

They aren't very good writers then are they? There are no player quotes in "Casey at the Bat". The players talent isn't describing the game. That's supposed to be the reporters talent. Why do they need the players to do it for them? Didn't they just watch the game? If they can't write an interesting description of what they saw, what value are they adding?

Lie #2. Reporters would miss their deadlines if they waited for the players to get dressed.

Since the Ludtke decision in 1978, media technology has advanced exponentially. Newspapers are now digital. Reports are emailed in. Television trucks with sattelite hook up eliminate the need for film to be rushed back to the studio. However, none of the time saved by these advances has been passed on to the players so they can undress shower and dress in private.

Furthermore, these split second deadlines were always artificial. Reports of day games and night games appear in the same sports section. So why was there such a rush into the locker room after the day game. In baseball a game mat be over in 90 minutes or may go five hours. But regardless, the reporter says the deadline is twenty minutes from whenever the game ended. Why? Will the newspaper not print the story if the reporters wait for the players to get dressed?

Lie #3. Quotes from players before they get dressed are better than after they get dressed.

I'f given a list of player quotes, do you think you could tell whether they were taken before they got dressed or after? All player quotes are lame cliches. They're trained to say "Our guys gave 110%" or "They made us play their game instead of our game." or "We just didn't get the breaks". Remember, their talent is playing the game not describing it. These "hot quotes" that supposedly justify violating player privacy simply don't exist.

Lie #4. Women sports reporters are professionals.

No. Doctors are professionals. Architects are professionals. School teachers are professionals. These and many other occupations are licensed and regulated not only by the government but by strict peer codes of conduct with disciplinary action for violations. Women sports reporters merely have a job. I have a job. Do you have a job. Most people have a job but not everyone with a job is a professional. There is no eductaion, training or licensing requirement for a woman to become a sportswriter. Anyone can be hired off the street to do that. There are no qualifications. Many times it's not Murphy Brown but Nancy Drew. Editors think its cute to send their new hire female reporters on a locker room assignment. When Patti Shea went into the Dodgers locker room in 2002 and wrote about the naked tushies and "goodies", is was the first and last time she had ever called herself a "sportswriter".

Lie #5. The women reporters are the victims.

Don't you just love it when women "reporters" like Lisa Kennely barge in on players while they're trying to shower and change and then complain about having to see them naked?

www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=509749

Look at all the "harrassment" charges she levels. The manager said "You're nicer to look at then the other reporter." Oh my God! He said THAT? He should be fired! A single player asked a single reporter for her phone number. Why isn't he in jail?
After she looks a a naked player and decides "I'll give him a few minutes" (what a saint) he makes a joke about the situation "Did you want to talk to me before or after you saw me?" HOW DARE HE? He should be put on the sex offender registry.

By the way, did you see her insightful question? "How do you think you played today?" Nominate this lady for a Pulitzer Prize! There's no way she could have asked THAT question in any other setting than the locker room.

Lie #6. Women reporters have earned the right to be in the locker room.

Really? What exactly had 20 year old Lisa Kennely done in her life that entitled her to invade the privacy of other people? She signed up for a college intern program.


Lie #7. The big lie. Only men can be voyeurs and only women can be modest.

Anonymous said...

Well put, female reporters are not worried about equal rights, they are worried about their agenda, they have decided to become a reporter, they decided to become a sports reporter so their right to pursue their agenda automatically becomes more important that the atheletes right to privacy. The right to privacy is instilled in people at a very young age, and you expect them to just toss that aside because YOU decided you want to be a reporter...give me a break...this isn't about equal rights, its about what you want and your agenda. As stated above, these men aren't against you as a female, or even a female reporter, they have a problem becasue you are a female in a venue where they have been taught and condictioned since they were young that they should have privacy from being viewed by the opposite gender. So either acknowledge the fact that you are infringing on them and their rights not the other way around and accept that means not all of them are just going to accept it or find another line of work and shut up about being the victim. I love the way one of the reporters said she knows she has gained acceptance becsause some of the guys don't bother with the towels now....don't confuse accepting something they can't change with acceptance of you as one of them....my brother accepted the fact that he had cancer, didn't mean he accpeted is as OK, it was just something he had to deal with....sort of like you in the locker room...what choice do they have.

Anonymous said...

Professional......read the opening statement by Linda Kaufman complaining about sexism in the locker room, and I quote....I saw more ass in 30 minutes than I did my entire 19 years........real professional...let a Male Doctor or reporter say that about females

Anonymous said...

maybe you don't set the rules that favor female atheletes, but you sure don't see female reporters complaining or fighting them. Male atheletes don't resist the policy because they know you control the media and they will be the villian regardless of how they handle it, remember reggie white....and comparing yourself to a Dr. pleasseeeeeeee you choose the Dr. how about he brings in a male receptionist to take some history or a highschool kid who is thinking about med school...no where close to the same. Have you ever fought the double standard where some colleges allow reporters of both genders in male locker rooms but not female....you were wrong wrong wrong to put the blame on him when you are knownly invading a space that makes them uncomfortable...that said, he had no right to put his hands on you,,,that was wrong, but don't try to be all innocent like snow white....it always amuses me how female reporters say, they have to understand I am mature enough to handle this if they are seen nude......what the hell do you have to handle, your not the one naked....when female reporters fight for equal rights for everyone including the atheletes, instead of their or womens right...then you can claim the high ground