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Cooley and Rabach on locker room nakedness

I'm definitely nearing the point where if I write another word about reporters in locker rooms, you should feel free to punch me in the face next time you see me. But just let me take one more crack at this thing.

I would say I've gotten more e-mails about this topic over the last 24 hours than over just about anything I've ever written for The Post. And the e-mails overwhelmingly go something like this:

If women are allowed into men's locker rooms, men must be allowed into women's locker rooms. Also, even a male reporter barging in on a tired, dirty and sometimes nude player is rude, disrespectful and virtually harassment. I don't care about tradition, or deadlines, or what the media wants. This must end.

Obviously, this is a losing battle for me, and for all media members. But it just seems so strange to get these e-mails, because interviewing players in locker rooms is boringly commonplace for us, and for the players, the equivalent of you pressing a button in your office elevator. You don't think about it, ever, until something like this happens that suggests the practice is somehow controversial or remarkable.

Anyhow, I went to the furthest corner of the Redskins locker room on Thursday to ask (the fully clothed) Casey Rabach and Chris Cooley what they thought about locker room interviews.

"Ok, first and foremost, you obviously are in here and you see us," Rabach said. "How many times have you seen a guy just running around in here naked? It doesn't happen. Extremely rare. After the game is probably the most time you see naked players, and usually the reporters stand in the middle, they say 'Hey, can we talk to you?' you say just a minute. And you leave a towel on, you pull your drawers on, you take the towel off, put your jeans on, throw a t-shirt on, and all right, I'm ready.

"There ain't a whole lot of packages. I think it was awkward [initially], obviously your rookie season you're like, 'Ooh, what's [she's doing there]?', whatever female reporter was there. You're like, 'Ooh, this is kind of strange.' But after a while, you're just kind of used to it. Obviously people you talk to, even my wife, she's thinks it's totally bizarre and weird.

But it's not like we're just standing here butt naked, like 'All right, yeah, the Texans, they play a lot of man coverage...." I mean, I've heard stories of guys being a little out there, but it's not really an issue."

This perfectly reflects my experiences. Maybe seems odd the first couple times, then is completely natural, and almost no one ever behaves in an unusual or disrespectful manner, on either side.

"I don't even notice," Cooley said, when I asked if the dynamic was awkward for him. "I mean, it's not like you see guys just striding around the locker room naked. It's a non-issue in our locker room. Do you notice? I think it's a non-issue in this locker room. I've never noticed."

I also pointed out that he almost always seems dressed by the time the media enters the post-game locker room.

"For no reason," he said. "Usually it's because I want to leave. It's not because I don't want people to see me naked, it's because I don't want to answer questions. Yours."

So there's that. Cooley and Rabach are two of the most honest players in that locker room. Maybe they were lying. But again, this is exactly how I feel about it: it's a non-issue that I don't notice.

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 16, 2010; 1:47 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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I wouldn't mind Inez Sainz interviewing me right after I get out of the shower and before dressing in the morning!!

Posted by: Section104 | September 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Considering Cooley has published a d*** shot for all to see, it's not surprising to know that he doesn't care if people see him naked..

Posted by: Pbonds | September 16, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

How dare you press that elevator button! I want to go to the 9th floor. Then you come into the elevator, with no respect at all for my privacy, and push the button to go to the 5th. You journalists are so pushy!

Posted by: BDVienna | September 16, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: StuScott_Booyahs | September 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

For the last time pinheads it's "buck" naked not "butt" naked - ignoramouses

Posted by: bdean1 | September 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Whether the practice is common place or not is completely unrelated to the issue at hand. The issue is the DOUBLE STANDARD that treats men and women differently. I think there is growing disgust with the many double standards that have been laid down over the last three decades. Enough is enough. If we are truly equal then please let's treat people like equals.

Posted by: KilgoreTrout | September 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind Inez Sainz interviewing me right after I get out of the shower and before dressing in the morning!!

Posted by: Section104

But She would!!!!

Posted by: KarK | September 16, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind Inez Sainz interviewing me right after I get out of the shower and before dressing in the morning!!

Posted by: Section104

But She would!!!!

Posted by: KarK | September 16, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"Whether the practice is common place or not is completely unrelated to the issue at hand. The issue is the DOUBLE STANDARD that treats men and women differently."

But the point is there isn't a double standard. Men and women are given equal access to men and women's locker rooms.

Posted by: smshadowman | September 16, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

This is ludicrous. If reporters are going to make a big deal of men cat-calling women in a locker room, remove the temptation and interview them at a post-game press conference where it's more professional.

Posted by: hand_of_doom | September 16, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

This is the work place of the players. In what professional work environment are employees forced to change clothes or shower in a room that is open to the media?

Posted by: Wemiss21 | September 16, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

well, my question was answered by a known an anonymous survey of all the players on the team and then the ones in the opposing locker room every week. yes or no, to locker room interviews while still cleaning up and dressing. not about men or women, but media. how about it?

Posted by: joerutgens72 | September 16, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Rabach admitted that he felt uncomfortable being naked in a locker room with reporters. Just because he eventually got used to a situation that felt awkward and strange doesn't make it right.

We ask these players to act like violent barbarians on the field and then perfect gentlemen 10 minutes later. That's BS. Either give them a break or fix the system so that the risk of a compromising situation is reduced. To me that's showing respect.

Posted by: jimwest20 | September 16, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The NFL has no legal obligation to allow females into male locker rooms.

There is no requirement that media organizations send male reporters into areas where female reporters are not permitted to work because they are female.

Third-parties are not responsible for creating equal opportunity in media organizations, or any other business that is independent of the league or its franchisees.

Requiring the league to permit any female or any female reporter into male locker rooms wrongly places a burden on teams to create equal employment opportunities outside of its own organization. It is not the duty of the league to assure access for any person or group at the expense of its duty to its owners and players. NFL equal opportunity policies pertain to its employees and franchees, not the female employees of organizations over which it has no control.

It is also a violation of workplace sexual harassment policy to force a male athlete to appear naked before females as this creates a hostile workplace environment. Men should not be made to change clothing, use the restroom, or shower in an area that is not secured from females. A man should not have to worry about a female encroaching his privacy at work any more than a woman should have to worry about men viewing her in her workplace locker rooms or restrooms, even for workplace safety reasons.

A female's right to do her newsgathering work does not take precedence over a male employee's right to bathe, use the toilet, or dress in private at his workplace.

How did we ever stray so far from common sense?

Posted by: blasmaic | September 16, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

""I don't even notice," said Mr. Hang-Out with his Wang Out."

Seriously, Cooley Mr. X-Rated Playbook Blog is your source here? The irony. ;^) I'm surprised he doesn't notice.

The bottom line is that the locker room has to close, per: blasmaic. You don't let women into the changing room, and that means in today's world you don't let reporters into the locker room.

Posted by: WorstSeat | September 16, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

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