Headline Sports Law

Women in the Locker Room

Lately the controversy concerning women in the locker room has resurfaced. This arose after a reporter, Ines Sainz, felt uncomfortable while interviewing Quarterback Mark Sanchez of the Jets in their locker room last week. By law, women are permitted in the locker room. This was decided in 1985 when the NFL mandated equal access. This is where the reporters conduct their interviews and obtain their stories.

Some commentators have said that Sainz was dressed too provocatively. Dressing provocatively is regularly seen in sports and generally accepted. The cheerleaders and dancers are often on the sidelines in little more than a bikini throughout most NFL, NBA and college games. If cheerleader uniforms are accepted, shouldn’t curve hugging jeans and a tiny shirt be accepted? Reporters are part of the entertainment industry and should be able to dress as deemed appropriate by their station.

I have been around professional sports for a few years and I have become accustomed to the banter and comments made by male athletes. I quickly learned to laugh these situations off, as they were usually joking, or just ignore the comments altogether.

Women have every right to be permitted to wear what they want, but should learn how to deal with the situations. At this point, nothing offends me; I’ve heard it all and seen it all. Should athletes have to censor their comments in the presence of females in their locker room? In my opinion, they should not. The reporters are entering their space, and should know what to expect and how to handle uncomfortable encounters. Hell, it should be written in the job description.

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