One wouldn’t think a story like this would be possible in 2015, but after seeing what pretty much every single female sports journalist has to put up with even these days, maybe it shouldn’t be all that stunning.

Covering the Colts-Jaguars game in Indianapolis, three separate female sports journalists said they were barred from entering the locker rooms after the game.  You know, because of all the man stuff happening inside.  This in spite of the fact that women have been in professional sports locker rooms literally for decades.  The three writers were Yahoo’s Graham Watson, Joey Chandler of the Tuscaloosa News, and Katie McInerney of the Tulsa World.

Chandler and Watson tweeted about the incident.  McInerney retweeted two of Watson’s tweets about it:

To make matters worse, the women were covering the game as part of an APSE diversity fellowship weekend.  Details via the Indy Star:

Graham Watson of Yahoo Sports, Joey Chandler of the Tuscaloosa News and the Tulsa World’s Katie McInerney were not allowed to enter the locker room by someone they described as an usher.

“At first we thought we had the wrong door,” Watson said. “He said, ‘I’m not sure you’re allowed back there.’”

Chandler added: “He said, ‘I’m sure you know how guys are, I’m just warning you.’”

According to Watson and Chandler, after the man stopped them, he started asking people if they were allowed in the locker room, delaying their entry for two to three minutes. Someone with the Jaguars eventually told him they were allowed in, according to the women.

“Never ever have I had someone stop me from going into a locker room I was allowed to go into,” Watson said. “I’ve covered events all over the world. I was stunned. I was angry.

“He should not be working the door of an NFL locker room.”

A Colts spokesperson said the team was investigating the matter. Watson tweeted that both the Colts and Jaguars public relations staffs apologized.

The women were at the game as part of an APSE diversity fellowship weekend. The game was part of a management exercise in which they would develop a coverage plan as if they had a staff of writers at the game.

I’d like to think this is an isolated incident and that the usher in question is not representative of any attitudes through the stadium or the league.  Sadly, when it comes to women working in sports media, it’s difficult to have optimistic thoughts when stories like this arise.  If NFL franchises can’t communicate to stadium personnel that yes, women are allowed in the locker room, then something is definitely wrong.

It’s another PR nightmare for the NFL, who keeps finding new ways to alienate female reporters and fans that no amount of pink gear should be able to overshadow.

[Indy Star]

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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