Four major American sports leagues are taking the unprecedented step of banning all media members from locker rooms amid the outbreak of coronavirus across the globe.
The NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS announced in a joint statement released Monday that only “players and essential employees” will be allowed into locker rooms before and after games until further notice beginning Tuesday. The release said that there will continue to be media access to players outside of the locker rooms, though it did not say how many players would be available to reporters or when.
The NHL already took this step over the weekend, holding player availability to media outside of its locker rooms.
Sports reporters regularly go into team locker rooms before and after games to speak with players and coaches.
Below is the entirety of the statement released by the leagues:
“After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, and given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice. Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting. These temporary changes will be effective beginning with tomorrow’s games and practices.
“We will continue to closely monitor this situation and take any further steps necessary to maintain a safe and welcoming environment.”