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Dexter Manley, Christine Brennan and the locker room

So Tuesday, I made my first of what I hope will be many appearances on Dexter Manley's television show, which you can watch here. It was a fairly surreal experience, which I'll write about in a second. But towards the end of my 35-minutes on set, I asked Dexter about the Clinton Portis Ines Sainz imbroglio, and during his answer he mentioned Christine Brennan. (See below for the transcript.)

Then on Wednesday, I spoke to George Solomon's University of Maryland journalism class, which is why I've been so unproductive. And he told me, and his students, that the Dexter-Brennan relationship was sort of legendary in women-in-the-locker-room circles. So I went back to the archives. Here's a Brennan story from The Post Magazine, in January of 1988:

I never could get too furious with [Dave] Butz. In my first year, he was concerned that someone was hassling me in the locker room with sexual jokes. Defensive end Dexter Manley had beckoned me over to his locker once, yelling, "Come here, I've got something to show you."

Yeah, right, Dexter.

So, a few days later, after a Redskin victory, Butz called me to his locker for a rare conversation.

"Is anyone bothering you in here?"

"No," I said, stifling an inclination to say, "Yes, you."

"Well, if anyone ever gives you a hard time in here, you just let me know, and I'll take care of them."

I looked up at Butz in disbelief. He was serious. I thanked him and walked away. More than a year later, over the phone, I finally asked why he did that.

"Because, even if I don't like it that you're in there, you should be treated right when you're there," he said.

Brennan also told this story about Butz, which I nabbed from Washingtonian:

On one of my first days in the Redskins locker room during the 1985 regular season, hulking defensive lineman Dave Butz called me over.

"Are you going to be in here when I'm naked?" he asked.

"Well, yes," I said.

"Then I think you should be naked too."

"No, Dave," I said, "that's not how it works."

Brennan wrote that Manley was a "humorous, harmless man-child," and that she wasn't offended by his crack. Anyhow, bearing in mind that it's hard to tell when, if ever, Manley is being serious, here's roughly how our conversation went when I asked him about Ines Sainz.

Dexter: You tell me what you think about it? Did it arouse you? Were you there?

Me: I was not there. It was in New York. I was here. But what did you think about female reporters in the locker room?

Dexter: Well I'll tell you what, Christine Brennan, she used to come in the locker room, and I thought it was a double standard. Because at that time when they started this in the '80s, women could come into the men's locker room but no men could go into the women's locker room. So I don't think that's justice....I think you should take that to Congress.

Me: Well, I don't know if that's a Congressional issue.

Dexter: Then make it a Congressional issue.

Me: I mean, I would be uncomfortable if I had to talk to someone while I was naked, I think.

Dexter: Yeah. Are you uncomfortable when you talk to your wife?

Me: Well, no, but she's not usually interviewing me. That's a good question, though. I mean, we probably wouldn't sit around the kitchen table and.....

Dexter: You don't sit around the table, like, nude?

Me: No, that's what I'm saying, we probably wouldn't do that. I mean, do you?

Dexter: Oh yeah, I just sit up there, [private parts] out there, just having breakfast.

Me: Maybe you've spent more time talking to people while naked than I have.

Dexter: I think we all should walk around sometimes sort of just nude, and be like those people in Brazil. But the reporter, she's sort of hot, sexy? I mean, can you imagine, I know this is a kids show format, can you imagine the brothers see her, they've got the [edited for taste], it's like what do you think they're gonna be thinking?

Me: I mean, it's a workplace. If they saw her in a bar it'd be something different. This is like a workplace. Right now, you wouldn't go up to any of your female [co-workers]....

Dexter: No, I wouldn't. I wouldn't.

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 15, 2010; 4:54 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Comments

Dexter wouldn't, but apparently just about everyone at ESPN would.

Posted by: GeorgeTowner2 | September 15, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

in all fairness, none of my female co-workers would wear what she wears in the office, either. Nor are they allowed to.

Posted by: NatPack11 | September 15, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

If some of my female employees had that back side and wore that pants, YES....the talk amongst the male population in the office would mirror that of the locker room. Maybe not as blatant, but COME ON!!!!!! Men are men!!!!

Anyone that says otherwise is either lying through their teeth or "playing for the other side".

Posted by: sd-bones | September 15, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Dexter is a DC treasure. One of a kind. An original. And..one helluva D lineman in his day.Which has been alot better than many days we've seen lately from the Redskins. He's been so open and honest about his travails and shortcomings. I have a lot of repect for him.

Posted by: ridgely1 | September 15, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Let's cut to the chase here.

Women HAVE NO BUSINESS in a men's locker room nor do men have any business in a women's locker room when the other gender is in private undressing/dressing situations.

Women have construed because they think they can do anything a man can do, that they have a right to impose their standards on men, without regard to considering men's feelings.

We are constantly smacked over the head that women have complete control over their bodies, yet women routinely decide to have their son's circumcised; and women now demand access to a men's dressing area only because they perceive that going there is an equality issue. Access to a MEN'S area isn't about equality - it is all about POWER - TELLING MEN WHAT THEY MUST ENDURE.

And in this EQUAL ACCESS theory, I'd contend that you should be restricted to same gender areas simply because of the situations that are ASSERTED to have happened in this case. We have men that act like this because they are men - and don't tell me women don't act catty amongst each other either. It is just simply ridiculous to place women in an uncomfortable situation just as it is equally vile to put men in a situation.

There is a line in the sand where simple logic and decorum has to be drawn. Women seeing nude men in a locker room is simply inappropriate - just as men as reporters in women's facilities is inappropriate. WE wouldn't be having a problem in the first place if we just thought and used common sense in life. Women don't get special privilegs because they claim them. This has to end.

Posted by: laserwizard | September 15, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's cut to the chase here.

Women HAVE NO BUSINESS in a men's locker room nor do men have any business in a women's locker room when the other gender is in private undressing/dressing situations.

Women have construed because they think they can do anything a man can do, that they have a right to impose their standards on men, without regard to considering men's feelings.

We are constantly smacked over the head that women have complete control over their bodies, yet women routinely decide to have their son's circumcised; and women now demand access to a men's dressing area only because they perceive that going there is an equality issue. Access to a MEN'S area isn't about equality - it is all about POWER - TELLING MEN WHAT THEY MUST ENDURE.

And in this EQUAL ACCESS theory, I'd contend that you should be restricted to same gender areas simply because of the situations that are ASSERTED to have happened in this case. We have men that act like this because they are men - and don't tell me women don't act catty amongst each other either. It is just simply ridiculous to place women in an uncomfortable situation just as it is equally vile to put men in a situation.

There is a line in the sand where simple logic and decorum has to be drawn. Women seeing nude men in a locker room is simply inappropriate - just as men as reporters in women's facilities is inappropriate. WE wouldn't be having a problem in the first place if we just thought and used common sense in life. Women don't get special privilegs because they claim them. This has to end.

Posted by: laserwizard | September 15, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Mrs. Laserwizard, I think it's time you went with the castration option, we'd appreciate it.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | September 15, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Gold Steinberg...gold.

Posted by: WhoSays | September 15, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

She wasnt offended by his crack?
Of all the words to use with Dex..
Hilarious

Posted by: kreator6996 | September 15, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Dexter Manley has a TV show?

Let me guess, it's called "TMI".

And laser, I assume the person who taught you how to "cut to the chase" is the same one who taught you how to think. Because you suck at both.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 15, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

spunkydawg1-too bad you're too stupid to have a legitimate debate. The other guy was right, and you are a screw-up.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | September 16, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Being a Skins fan, I love Dexter. But he's a train wreck waiting to happen. They had him on Riggo's post-game show on MASN and he said something to the effect "it's good the Skins won, cause when they lose men tend to beat their wives". The co-host Castleberry said "let's hope not" and Dexter said "it's true". Castleberry responded again "let's hope not".

Posted by: bubbad | September 16, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

For those who fell this should be a non issue and, both gender should have no problem with it, ask yourself the question; would you feel comfortable with your wife or girlfriend being in the place of that female reporter.

If you have to think about your answer, it's NO.

Posted by: MHEDRLT | September 16, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes this is a non issue. But gosh, mhedrlt got me thinking, i can't have my girlfriend around potentially naked men. i'll tell her to quit med school.

Posted by: briffy | September 16, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey Dan, can you interview some athletes who is a strong Christian on the team and happens to be a married man. I'm curious to know how they feel about females in the locker room while they're naked. How do their wives feel about a potential female journalist (or wannabe journalist) seeing them naked. It seems to me as committed believer in Christ and a faithful husband to an amazing wife that I would feel somewhat uncomfortable about a woman other than my own wife seeing me naked. I'm wondering if there are athletes that feel the same, and if so, how do they handle the situation. Thanks!

Posted by: humen8r | September 16, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Let's cut to the chase here.

Women HAVE NO BUSINESS in a men's locker room nor do men have any business in a women's locker room when the other gender is in private undressing/dressing situations.

Women have construed because they think they can do anything a man can do, that they have a right to impose their standards on men, without regard to considering men's feelings.

We are constantly smacked over the head that women have complete control over their bodies, yet women routinely decide to have their son's circumcised; and women now demand access to a men's dressing area only because they perceive that going there is an equality issue. Access to a MEN'S area isn't about equality - it is all about POWER - TELLING MEN WHAT THEY MUST ENDURE.

And in this EQUAL ACCESS theory, I'd contend that you should be restricted to same gender areas simply because of the situations that are ASSERTED to have happened in this case. We have men that act like this because they are men - and don't tell me women don't act catty amongst each other either. It is just simply ridiculous to place women in an uncomfortable situation just as it is equally vile to put men in a situation.

There is a line in the sand where simple logic and decorum has to be drawn. Women seeing nude men in a locker room is simply inappropriate - just as men as reporters in women's facilities is inappropriate. WE wouldn't be having a problem in the first place if we just thought and used common sense in life. Women don't get special privilegs because they claim them. This has to end.

Posted by: laserwizard | September 15, 2010 7:38 PM

*******************************************

Thank you for removing all "political correctness" and cutting straight to the chase. I, for one, appreciate what you have said ... and I'm a woman! Yes, a woman should be able to dress the way she wants, but if she thinks every man she encounters is going to be a perfect gentleman when she has body parts popping out begging for attention, then she is a fool at best.

Posted by: gitouttahere | September 16, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Let's cut to the chase here.

Women HAVE NO BUSINESS in a men's locker room nor do men have any business in a women's locker room when the other gender is in private undressing/dressing situations.

Women have construed because they think they can do anything a man can do, that they have a right to impose their standards on men, without regard to considering men's feelings.

We are constantly smacked over the head that women have complete control over their bodies, yet women routinely decide to have their son's circumcised; and women now demand access to a men's dressing area only because they perceive that going there is an equality issue. Access to a MEN'S area isn't about equality - it is all about POWER - TELLING MEN WHAT THEY MUST ENDURE.

And in this EQUAL ACCESS theory, I'd contend that you should be restricted to same gender areas simply because of the situations that are ASSERTED to have happened in this case. We have men that act like this because they are men - and don't tell me women don't act catty amongst each other either. It is just simply ridiculous to place women in an uncomfortable situation just as it is equally vile to put men in a situation.

There is a line in the sand where simple logic and decorum has to be drawn. Women seeing nude men in a locker room is simply inappropriate - just as men as reporters in women's facilities is inappropriate. WE wouldn't be having a problem in the first place if we just thought and used common sense in life. Women don't get special privilegs because they claim them. This has to end.

Posted by: laserwizard | September 15, 2010 7:38 PM

*******************************************

Thank you for removing all "political correctness" and cutting straight to the chase. I, for one, appreciate what you have said ... and I'm a woman! Yes, a woman should be able to dress the way she wants, but if she thinks every man she encounters is going to be a perfect gentleman when she has body parts popping out begging for attention, then she is a fool at best.

Posted by: gitouttahere | September 16, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Now, there's a person very secure in himself. What's wrong with the rest of us we have to feel so threatened? I'd really enjoy the opportunity to put that security to test.

Posted by: MHEDRLT | September 16, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

There's one certainty here that's inescapeable. It's a controversial topic about journalist being discussed by journalist, therefore, I see making inroads on the subject a difficult task.

We all know the primary objective of the journalist is to get the story out, too often they all want to be to first to see their own name in print. Remember "A bird of a feather, flock together" they will continue to find ways to justify their cause regardless and remain in agreement even when others may be critical of their findings.

Posted by: MHEDRLT | September 16, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Perfect World People..

Its unrealestic to thank every player should have blinders on when a women walks in the locker room.

Reporters can't wait until players dress?

They should have a place where the players can talk to them. Period!

It's silly to thank that 20 something men (well most are) should be able to be mature in that sitituaion.

It's not a work area, they play on the field.

Posted by: shamken | September 16, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

25 years of women in the locker room, thousands and thousands of interviews, few problems serious enough to be mentioned, but it's news to some people, so now it must be stopped. The players can think what they want, but act professionally, as you're being paid to do, and don't undress until after the reporters leave if it bothers you. "This has to end" or what?

Posted by: markfromark | September 16, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

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