League Bans Media From Locker Rooms Due To Coronavirus

6:15 pm: The Professional Basketball Writers Association issued a statement saying it would temporarily comply with the ban.

We understand the NBA’s decision to temporarily close locker rooms to everyone but players and essential team personnel with the NBA’s promise that once the coronavirus crisis abates, the league will restore full access to the journalists who cover the league.”

6:06pm: The NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS have jointly announced that locker room access will be limited to players and essential personnel, sports business expert Scott Soshnick tweets.

The APSE and six writers organizations have issued a statement asserting that they are intent on preserving a safe work environment but that “we also must ensure the locker room access — which we have negotiated over decades — to players, coaches and staff is not unnecessarily limited in either the short or long term. We look forward to open communication with the leagues as, together, we deal with this serious health matter.”

5:25pm: The NBA is planning to ban the media from locker rooms due to concerns over the coronavirus, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Only players and essential team personnel would be allowed in locker rooms. Essential personnel would include coaches, front office members, basketball staff and the team’s public relations representatives. Teams have also been instructed to create a 6-to-8 foot distance between players and media members during interviews outside locker rooms.

The locker room ban is among recommendations from experts in the infectious disease and public health fields.

The NHL was the first major pro sports league to shutter the media from its locker rooms due to coronavirus fears. MLB is planning to make the same move, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The league has scheduled a conference call with team owners and governors to outline the steps that will be taken to fight the spread of the virus. More drastic measures could be on the horizon, including the possibility of teams playing games with only essential personnel in arenas if the virus continues to spread rapidly in the U.S. and Canada.

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27 thoughts on “League Bans Media From Locker Rooms Due To Coronavirus

    • shmurdascene

      Considering they lost all their good players, no way do the Warriors make it out of the first round if they even make the playoffs next season.

        • x%sure

          It’s not a lie tho (straight up or any other posture) because future results are not in that would prove it wrong. It’s just a shaky prediction.

  1. Strike Four

    For real though, why don’t they just do locker room interviews through a glass window or via facetime or some style of video conference?

  2. hiflew

    So do they think only the media carries the virus? The virus can be carried by a player or “essential team personnel” as well.

    • floridagators

      Uh no. The more people you’re exposed to the more chances you have to contract it.

      • hiflew

        These guys are in close contact with each other, exchanging sweat, for 48 minutes a night. But sure, a guy asking you a question is more likely to make you sick.

        • Otogar

          This not about players not getting sick, but about not spreading the virus. If the virus gets to a locker room (either carried by a player, a staff member or a journalist) and there are dozens of people getting in and out, they might spread it to lots of people.

        • LordBanana

          one of those is a bit more essential to the job than the other don’t you think? also only the players are nba employees

        • jobbins

          Wow, that’s actually exactly it. The greater the exposure the greater the risk. Quit spouting ignorance.

  3. HoopsR

    I’m sure humans at the peak of physical perfection can handle the common cold.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Eh. Luol Deng had to be hospitalized with the flu once. Taj Gibson was hospitalized in college once. Kobe and Jordan were hooked up to IVs more than once. Etc.

      The virus doesn’t care how strong you are. It’s all about your immune system… So be careful everyone! :)

      • HoopsR

        Yes, there are examples of athletes being sick but the logic still stands when the percentage of said athletes get sick is well below the average.
        Yes, it’s about your immune system, and usually extreme athletes are extremely healthy with vibrant immune systems. Of course unless they’re pumping themselves with hormones.
        Yes, if you have a compromised immune system from being old or a crack head beware of the millions of microscopic bigs that can kill you, otherwise you’re worrying about nothing.

      • HoopsR

        I could. Research is my forte. Viruses might not be what we think they are. A little research uncovers a lot of questions.

        • x%sure

          Biased research, sure. Trying to prove a predetermined perspective, sure.

          Listen to Otogar… It’s not just about dying, it’s about spreading it. About being a carrier, sickening or not.
          Also, players should miss time to a “common cold” either.

          • HoopsR

            I’m sure you’re very well versed on such things. Although I agree. For example, MOST “peer reviewed” research can be classified as such. One has to simply read past the abstract to see the countless flaws.
            I’ll listen to anyone with knowledge on the subject, not just people who share my prespective and bath in confirmation bias. You can, it’s a free country.
            No, it’s about dying. Changing the goal posts doesn’t save you. All this hysteria isn’t about some virus* being spread, or else you’d see the same hysteria for all the other viruses that kill more people per year than this one. It’s all about death rate. If it’s Ebola people care, if it’s lime disease not so much. Horrible false arguement. When you post out of spite we don’t get your best work. Again, you can fall into a fear spiral, it’s a free country.
            These athletes receive shots before games because they have severe pain that would cripple them otherwise..they can handle a cold during a game. Just make them wear a mask.

            • x%sure

              Good that you can find flaws, now wonder why your conclusions follow what you would have prefered anyway.
              Good that you get the dying part, now get how a healthy man could spread what might kill others.

              • HoopsR

                “your conclusions follow what you would have prefered anyway.”
                You would have to prove what was my preferred conclusion to even state this nonsense. Knowing that that is literally impossible for you only points to the single logical conclusion that you’re just speaking out your rear end and attempting to create a narrative by just repeating the same phrase hoping it sticks. The people here aren’t stupid and your low grade framing would make a second year communications major laugh at your face.
                Sure I do. Like fear. Fear, stress, and anxiety kill those people a lot faster and in more frightening quantity than the seasonal common cold that’s being labeled corona this year and probably will be some other flu next year. Which one haven’t they used? It happens every year, it will always happen. Breeding more death through fear isn’t the answer but you can kill those close to you faster if you want. It’s a free country.

    • shmurdascene

      Most NBA players are nowhere near the peak of physical perfection. Especially in today’s soft NBA where “Zion needs to lose weight”.

      • HoopsR

        If they aren’t then no one is. If he’s too slow getting up and down the court, then yes he has to lose weight or join football.

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