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Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden

I've covered All Star Games, World Series games, and Super Bowls.  It's an honor and a privilege to cover the elite events in sports, and, once that credential goes around my neck, I'm very careful not to do anything to give anyone a reason to take it away from me. 
Except for one thing.  If I happen to see federal law being broken, I'm probably going to speak up.
Today, after the Masters, sportswriter Tara Sullivan was part of a group of about a dozen other reporters who lined up to enter the players' clubhouse to conduct interviews. 
A dozen other reporters, all male, were granted access.  Tara got pulled out of line.  She was told that females weren't allowed in the locker room. 
That was wrong, both morally and factually.  It's also a violation of the law.  Males and females have to be granted equal access, and it's been that way for about 25 years. 
The Masters has had questions about whether their exclusionary policies were legal in the past, so the fact that this occurred on their grounds isn't all that surprising.  There's an old saying about leopards and spots.
What is surprising, and more depressing than I could ever put into words, is this:  
Twelve male reporters saw a female colleague get pulled out of line, and told she couldn't go with them.  Each of them then shrugged and went in without her. 
Come on, guys. 
Come on.
You don't get a credential for the Masters unless you're one of the top writers in the business.  So we had twelve of the top journalists working on the national level, and not one spine among them? 
This was your chance to stand up, guys.  This was your "30 for 30" moment.  Your "Sports Century" moment.  Or whatever ESPN will title their next series of documentaries.  
Who are the big golf guys?  Rick Reilly?  John Feinstein?  Mike Lupica?  Were any of you there?  None of you thought to say, "Hey, guys.  This is WRONG.  If she doesn't go in, NONE of us go in." 
Sure, they might have stripped your credential.  You might have gotten the "as you know, we receive thousands of media requests" letter next year when you applied.  But you could have taken your flight home, gathered your kids around you, and told them, "Dad did the right thing today."
It would have been worth it. 
Instead, you looked out for Number One.  That's a load of Number Two. 
Nine words:  If she doesn't go in, none of us do.  Twelve guys:  None of them thought to say them.
A few years ago, the Toronto Raptors allowed me to bring a 16 year old aspiring sportswriter to see what it was like to cover an NBA game.    She'd helped us with some web coverage, and, since we weren't paying her, I wanted to give her some type of perk.  I promised the Raptors director of media relations that, since she was a high school girl, I wouldn't take her into the locker rooms.
"Why not?" was his puzzled reply.  "I thought she wanted to be a sportswriter?" 
I thanked him and felt ashamed.  A few hours later, I accompanied her into the Raptors locker room.  One of us had our head held high.


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