MEDIA

Female Journalists Barred From NFL Locker Room -- For Being Women

Ironically, the reporters were covering the Jaguars-Colts game as part of a sports media diversity event.
Reporters attending the Jacksonville Jaguars-Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday were barred from entering a locker room&n
Reporters attending the Jacksonville Jaguars-Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday were barred from entering a locker room at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, simply because they were women.

"It's still 2015, right?”

That was the stunned reaction of journalist Joey Chandler after she, along with two other female journalists, was reportedly barred from entering the Jacksonville Jaguars locker room on Sunday night. The reporters were covering the team’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

According to The Associated Press, Chandler, of the Tuscaloosa News, Graham Watson of Yahoo! Sports, and a third journalist who has not been named were prevented from accessing the Jaguars' locker room by a male usher "because they were women." The usher is said to have asked "other men if it was OK before finally allowing them inside."

Chandler and Watson took to Twitter on Sunday to discuss the experience. Both said they were stunned by the discriminatory treatment.

"At first we thought we had the wrong door," Watson told the IndyStar. "Never ever have I had someone stop me from going into a locker room I was allowed to go into. I’ve covered events all over the world. I was stunned. I was angry."

The women were reportedly at the game as part of the Associated Press Sports Editors sports media diversity weekend.

According to Watson and Chandler, the public relations teams of both the Colts and the Jaguars later apologized for the incident.

Colts spokesman Avis Roper said “the usher was in an area where he didn’t know who was allowed access,” per The Guardian.

Still, the Association for Women in Sports Media said it was “disappointed” by what took place in Indianapolis.

"Although the Colts’ staff handled the situation quickly and both teams apologized, it is unfortunate such issues continue to exist," the organization said in a statement.

 

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