By Olivia Krauth–
It’s about 9:30 PM. I’m standing in a huddle of 20 sports reporters, photographers and videographers outside of the men’s basketball locker room after a tough loss to University of Cincinnati. Including myself, there are only five girls in the crowd, but I don’t notice.
I have a folded up stats sheet in one pocket and my dead phone in the other. My bright orange press pass is securely attached to my belt loop. The locker room door opens and I begin to follow the sports editor into the locker room.
And then I’m yanking aside by a security guard, kind of like how Lindsey Lohan’s character in “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” got pulled aside by a bouncer at Sidarthur’s concert.
“Who are you? Who are you with? Why haven’t I seen you before?” Apparently, having a press pass didn’t exactly mean clearance into the locker room.
I explain that I’m legit, I’m simply new to sports coverage, as the remaining members of the media file past me and into the locker room. Two of those members were female, prompting the guard to say, “Who are all of these girls?”
“Can I go in now?” I was expecting a simple yes or no, but I got something more.
He explained how they are worried about girls sneaking into the men’s locker room, and since I wasn’t carrying a notebook or a camera, he was concerned. He let me go into the locker room, and continued to ask another guard who all of these girls were. Remember, there were five girls, which is apparently a cause for concern.
But why is that a cause for concern? Are girls not allowed to be interested in sports? Are they not allowed to cover sports for the media? Why was I plucked out of the crowd, even though I had credentials displayed, simply because I was in the minority? I was barely allowed into the KFC Yum! Center without a press pass.
Simply put, it shouldn’t be a concern. Once I finally gained access to the locker room, I watched the females fight to the front of the herd around Montrezl Harrell. They were doing the same things as the male reporters, but on many occasions, they were in front of the males. They were simply doing their jobs, so why where they judged for that?
I was told to never write when I’m angry. After waiting nearly a week to write this, I’m not angry. But I am still shocked. I had an idea that females would be judged in what is generally a male-dominated profession, but I had no idea that someone so used to dealing with members of the press would be that judgmental.