A female reporter was present to cover the New York Jets. There were sexually suggestive comments or actions when she was on their practice field and later in the locker room.
Commenting on this, Clinton Portis of the Washington Redskins reportedly said,
"I think you put women reporters in the locker room in position to see guys walking around naked, and you sit in the locker room with 53 guys, and all of the sudden you see a nice woman in the locker room. I think men are going to tend to turn and look and want to say something to that woman."
The team management fell all over itself apologizing and now Portis is having to do the same. Why?
Out on the field or most other parts of the stadium, yes, a female covering male sports should be treated as a professional.
But Portis is pointing out the obvious - having a person of the opposite sex in the space where you relieve yourself, undress and otherwise deal with personal physical needs isn't going to work for most of us.
How is Portis not being subjected to "unwelcome conduct" that creates a "hostile workplace environment," the reigning language of Federal sexual harassment law?
Some will argue that restricting women from the locker room keeps them from fair access to the best interviews.
But you know what? Locker room interviews are crap. You can write them without showing up. The losing guy said, "We have to put this behind us and come back next week like it's a whole new season." The winning guy said, "I owe it all to my teammates and I just glorifymyLordfortheopportunitytoplay (points weary finger to the sky)." Seriously, locker room interviews never generate anything new or insightful.
Really, common sense would dictate doing all the interviews in some other space.
But this is 2010 in America. We have very little we hold in common, sense least of all.