Betsy Ross: Andrew Whitworth is right - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV


Betsy Ross: Andrew Whitworth is right


So a lot has been made of the live interview from the Bengals locker room Sunday where NFL Network viewers saw a little more of the players than they had expected.

Of course, there were the usual jokes and giggles but the Bengals' veteran voice of reason, Andrew Whitworth, didn't see a lot of humor in it. He voiced what many of us who go into locker rooms think all the time: Who thinks it's normal to conduct an interview where people are getting dressed?

It's an issue the NFL has been dealing with, even before then-Bengals coach Sam Wyche kept Denise Tom of USA Today out of the locker room in 1990. The bottom line is, if a male reporter goes into the locker room, then I have the right to go in there, as well.

It doesn't mean any of us likes it.

I've done live shots from locker rooms and it's just common sense to have the camera aimed at the player's locker, not in the middle of the clubhouse. That's on the reporter and photographer.

But Whit brings up a great point: Why do interviews at all in the locker room? That's his office. The locker room is a team sanctuary. But from a reporter's standpoint we know if we don't catch you right after practice or after a game, we might not get to talk to you at all. So we need to get that soundbite as quickly as possible. If that means talking with you in front of your locker, so be it.

In college we request interviews with specific players and the sports information director makes them available to us in a separate area. That's fine with me, as long as the rules are the same for men and women reporters.

What will come of this locker room dustup? Probably nothing. Remember, the NFL wants us to feel like we're part of the game-locker room and all.

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