For years, the NFL has asked reporters covering the Super Bowl to provide a Social Security number or passport number, along with a photo, for security checks. Now, they’ll have to provide one more piece of information: their racial identifications. It was not required on the media credential application before but is now mandatory.
Previously, the NFL itself conducted the security checks for the media. It was the FBI that conducted checks on other credentialed personnel like vendors or stadium workers. The Washington Post reports that this year will be different:
For this year’s game, the league asked the FBI to perform security checks on all credentialed personnel, including members of the media, (NFL spokesman Brian) McCarthy said. The NFL’s security department, which controls the composition of the application form, attempted to make the press credentialing process “consistent with checks that are done for others who receive a working credential,” which includes requesting racial information.
The FBI has said that while providing racial information is helpful to conducting security checks, it has not been, and was not intended to be, a required field on the application form.
According to the WaPo, reporters can “select ‘American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black, Unknown, or White, including Hispanic’ in the race field.”
Law enforcement feel racial identification is “crucial” for sight identification. Large venues have been asking for racial identification, but providing that information hasn’t been required in the past. The Post says the FBI usually keeps information for 20 years so it will be helpful in future security checks.