Since I watched hockey as a kid, it was always this way. Industrial-size hampers, home to growing mounds of moist practice jerseys, sit on each side of the cramped chamber in its Syosset, New York, training facility. Players tear off equipment at wooden cubbies bearing their names and numbers, laughing about how Mel Gibson got ribbed at the Golden Globes. A collage on the walls above them shows newspaper headlines and media coverage of famous victories, ringing the small dressing room like a halo.
By Alison Van Houten
Former LSU LB Devin White to Honor Late Horse With Cleats
All of my male media brethren went cruising into this sacred place, and then, there was only me—the lone female reporter covering a USC football game—waiting outside. Me, the girl who has no fear, was nervous. Fear of the unknown tends to do that to you. Cripes, maybe I should just wait til they all get dressed before talking to them? In I went into the world of major testosterone, stinky athletic shoes, and wrinkled jerseys, and out I came a different person. The players were roaming around in towels or standing by their lockers speaking into digital recorders—no one was smacking towels on butts, no one was making soap jokes.
By Andrew Essex
I went to the circus at Madison Square Garden when I was about six years old, and, afterward, through some forgotten benefactor, I was taken backstage. There were clowns strolling around in their costumes, but they were talking normally, out of character. The man on stilts was walking on his own two feet, carrying the stilts.
Like most women my age, the cascade of news about sexual harassment has awakened my own memories of incidences long ago buried. There had been women that preceded me, but not many. It was less than two years after a federal court had mandated female reporters have the same access to locker rooms as their male counterparts. Breaking the gender barrier in sports journalism had never been my goal, but it would become my directive. I was the only woman among the coaches, administrative staff and other reporters who traveled with the team. And I was as green as they come.