Inez Sainz: Is Lance Briggs An Idiot or Just Speaking The Truth?

UPDATE: This link was offered by a commenter and clears up the question of whether or not men are allowed into the locker rooms of women. The article specifically states that the WNBA does allow such access—at designated times. While the information does slightly alter my opinion of the matter, it does not change the fact that “women in men’s locker rooms” is something that will always be debated. That said, in the interest of full-disclosure, the article below has not been altered in any way. 

Lance Briggs, a professional football player for the Chicago Bears, has recently come under fire for some comments he made regarding the issue of female reporters conducting post-game interviews in male locker rooms. Said Briggs:

I don’t think women should be allowed in the locker room…A lot of times I’m asking the media to wait until I’m dressed” (Grizzly Detail, 9/16/10)

His comments have come on the heels of the Inez Sainz incident which, unless you have been hiding in a galaxy far, far, away, you have heard about in much detail by now. If not, feel free to read about it here.
However, the purpose of this article isn’t to support her efforts nor is it to spew vitriol at Lance Briggs for his statements…there’s plenty of hand-wringing and political toe-tapping going on about both of those issues already.

The point of this article is to ask this simple, yet completely glossed over, question: are men allowed
into the locker rooms of female sports teams?

In all of the furor over the treatment of Inez Sainz, treatment that was immature but not unexpected—considering the circumstances—people seem content to leave out the fact that male reporters are not allowed into the dressing rooms of professional female athletes either (at least not to my knowledge).

And, why aren’t they?
 
The obvious, short-sighted, is likely because it is assumed that women have a better ability to control their hormones and their actions than men would if put in a similar situation. Women wouldn’t be as likely to give in to their urge to stare, comment, or objectify the person standing, half-naked, in front of them, as a man might be.
Translation: men are dogs and, if taken off the leash, they will make a mess of such a situation. 
While the argument could be considered a valid one, based in part on the comments made both in the media (Rush Limbaugh called Sainz “bootylicious”) and on some message boards, regarding the Inez Sainz issue, it doesn’t change the fact that there is a double-standard in play—most women would not be comfortable allowing a male reporter to interview them, if the only piece of clothing they had on was a towel. 
Should women be allowed to have access to the players? Absolutely! However, why is it so important that the locker room be a part of that access? Isn’t there just as much information to be gleaned from the post-game press conference?…No?
Oh, yeah, that’s right, it’s impossible to truly get a feel for the emotional distress or disappointment a player is feeling if he has too much time to compose himself. The viewing public wants the gritty stuff—the reality bite. The viewing public wants to be able to see things like this:
Uh-huh…because that interview had so much to do with the game that was played.
Listen, this is a blog written by, and from the perspective of, a lady sportswriter so, I get it, I do. That said, I also know that this is an issue that can easily be solved by allowing no reporters in the locker room whatsoever.

Why does anyone, male or female, have to be there? There are certainly more than a handful of men who share Lance Briggs’ desire to be able to shower, relieve, and dress himself without some media type shoving a mic in his face.

Even more, if the need for a quick sound bite is the driving force behind conducting an interview in such an informal and intrusional way, then there is reason to believe that the opportunity for that is every bit as probable in the conference room—just ask Jim Mora, Dennis Green, Allen Iverson, or, my personal favorite, Mike Gundy how easy that can be:
No locker room access needed for that gem, folks—just saying.
 
Women are worthy of equal treatment—across the board—no one is arguing that point here. However, is this really the issue that women want to tout as important? And, if so, are you preparing for the day when the inevitable, yet obvious, question is finally asked about men being allowed to do the same?
Be prepared because the day that question gets asked with more conviction is not only coming, but it’s here, and it’s valid—whether you think so or not.
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I am not a 'journalist' by trade, nor do I present myself as such. I am a wife, mother, and passionate Georgia Bulldog fan. That's it. I write. You read.