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Report: NFL Could Restrict Media Locker Room Access In 2021

The NFL will likely keep reporters out of the locker room for another year according to a report in The Washington Post.

The timing of this news certainly is interesting for all of us here at Barrett Sports Media. Just this morning, our own Seth Everett wrote a piece wondering if access to players would become a rare commodity even after the COVID protocols end.

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Protocols are not ending in the NFL it seems. The league has cited health concerns as the reason for keeping reporters out of the locker room during training camp. Ben Strauss and Mark Maske write that is a good indication of what will happen once the regular season begins.

There could be some changes from last season as it relates to press conferences. It seems like reporters won’t have a lot of one-on-one time with players in 2021 though.

No official comment has been made by the league, so this could be a lot of worrying for nothing. It is interesting to juxtapose how the league is treating fans versus its own players. As one team after another announces they will play in stadiums at or near full capacity in the fall, it seems like we could feasibly have the league taking a stance that locker room media access, which would include considerably fewer people gathered together in a slightly more spaced out way, is unsafe.

That’s not to say the NFL is being hypocritical or dumb about the way it is handling the situation. Obviously the vast majority of stadiums in the league are open-air venues. That makes a big difference.

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