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female reporters at the US Open

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by gingerbread, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. gingerbread

    gingerbread Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen this posted elsewhere so figured I'd throw it out. It seems the female reporters covering the US Open were barred by security guards from entering the men's locker room following Agassi's last match. All they missed were scenes of his fellow tennis players giving Agassi a standing ovation, nothing important obviously, except maybe one of the greatest pure moments in sports we'll ever witness. I'm sure their sports editors were thrilled to read stories written by male writers who were able to capture the moment for readers.

    And before the young and ill-informed "reporters" on this board like AF start screaming that men don't go into women's locker rooms: YES THEY DO! Equal access has only been a FEDERAL LAW for 25 years, so please do your home work. It benefits you, too. According to Jane's blog below, a male reporter was kept out of the women's locker room at the Open while his female peers were allowed in, a total violation of the law. Keep us all out, let us all in, whatever. Just make it the same for every reporter with a credential.

    This is just one more reason why tennis needs a commissioner. From what I understand, it was the young male players who complained about women in their presence, and then tennis wonders why it lags behind other sports. (Meanwhile, pretty young woman from food services delivered food to the locker room day after day, with no complaints.)

    The male reporters who were allowed in didn't realize their female counterparts had been shut out, and I have no doubt the guys would have complained just as loudly if they knew what was happening. Much has changed since female reporters had to stand in the parking lot like groupies. Most of us in the business can't imagine working under those circumstances, mainly because we've had great support from our editors and co-workers who understand we need to do our jobs on an equal playing ground. I'm sure those editors already have filed complaints with the USTA and/or US Open but just in case, here's a detailed link of what happened:

  2. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Paging ballscribe, paging ballscribe. I'm sure she could clue us in. I believe she's there covering the tournament.
  3. gingerbread

    gingerbread Well-Known Member

    My thoughts exactly, sportschick. I put it on the US Open thread also since I know folks from the USTA read it (and maybe even post on it).
  4. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I'm glad Jane wrote about it, and the blog comments are a very interesting read as well.

    As Jane said, all this taking place in a venue recently renamed for Billie Jean King. Shameful.
  5. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald and sometimes poster here also is in New York and might be able to give some insight.
  6. thebiglead

    thebiglead Member

    BLOGS ... ?
  7. Babs

    Babs Member

    It sounds like it was (yet another) case of ill-informed rent-a-cops not understanding the rules. This is where I've run into most of my problems over the years as well. It's not the leagues, teams, coaches, players, or other reporters -- it's the rent-a-cops. Leagues need to make it a priority to train these folks on the rules, and fire them if they don't enforce them correctly.

    I am curious what the reporters did in response though -- did they cause a scene? Take it higher up immediately? It's not clear.
  8. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    If you want to know how far we HAVEN'T come, read the comments/responses to that blog <shudder>....

    I guess in a world where non-sports female writers still get silly and giddy about the locker room scene (ie, see Goodies, Shawn Green's) and some of our male colleagues still think we get turned on by athletes (see Gone But Not Forgotten Thread), we shouldn't be surprised that on occasion, cavemen are unearthed to stand guard over the holy locker room, so no one peeks.
  9. gingerbread

    gingerbread Well-Known Member

    Babs is probably right about the ill-informed security guards, but that doesn't excuse the USTA from allowing it to happen far more than once.
    A few years ago I was covering the Braves at their Disney spring training complex. After the game, two goons literally jumped in front of the Braves' locker room door, folded their arms and refused to let me pass. A woman who was the team beat writer happened to be off that Saturday, so I was the only female present. Bobby Cox, Chipper Jones and nearly every male reporter present came into the hall and pleaded my case -- Cox noted I had been in their clubhouse only about 100 times before -- but the Disney goons wouldn't budge. They claimed Disney policies overruled MLB policies, and Disney didn't want women looking at men in their Disney-provided towels.
    A call was made to the head of the BWAA in NY, he contacted either Selig or one of his lietenants at home, and the next day the security goons had been relocated to elsewhere in the park. Say what you want about Cox and Chipper; they earned my respect that day.
    If John McEnroe, the ultimate recovering male chauvinist (his words), were commissioner, he'd make sure tennis didn't have these problems.
  10. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    A friend of mine was turned away from getting on the FIELD at a well-know college stadium.

    Not the locker room, the FIELD.
  11. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I was kept out of the lockerroom once at an NBA preseason game not held at the team's normal arena. I never felt more creepy than when I was standing around out there waiting. I felt like some sort of lurking groupie. Never mind how pissed I was at such BLATENT disregard for laws and NBA policy.

    This shit just shouldn't still be going on in this day and age.
  12. Babs

    Babs Member

    Wow, I'm really glad to hear that. They just earned my respect as well.
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