Blog: Please don’t ask stupid questions about reporter safety

I follow SportsJournalists.com on Twitter. I thought it was a good idea to as I was job searching, and I like to see what kind of opportunities are out there for both young and old writers these days.

One thing about that feed though, is that it also posts to the discussions that don’t have to do with jobs.

The gem that caught my eye posed the question of whether any journalists have ever felt their safety was in question in a locker room or clubhouse.

I wanted to just turn my computer off right there as I wondered why I subject myself to the Internet on a daily basis.

She tried to be fair, referencing the recent MRSA outbreak at Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp, but I still found myself wondering what on earth would make her feel unsafe.

Reporters don’t have access to weight rooms, which is where diseases like those undoubtedly spread. What about the towels that they use, though? Well why on earth would a reporter’s skin ever come in contact with one?

They don’t. Every player I’ve been around has been mindful of their surroundings, and laundry baskets are no further than 20 feet away in most instances. The actual contact you make with an athlete is nothing more than a handshake, and if you really feel that unsafe about one, I suggest you bring your hand sanitizer.

In reality, a sports reporter’s job is among as safe as any. There’s a number of security guards around, and the only way you’re getting anywhere important is if you have a credential to do so.

So I give up.

All you really have here is somebody looking for something to cry foul about. Columnists love to complain, and behind the scenes, reporters do too, but this is as dumb of a reason as any to actually do so.

The only thing we have to complain about is the access itself, and if the working conditions aren’t “safe” enough, then the only way to fix that would result in even tighter conditions to get quotes.

So please, if you’re one of the lucky few to be in the locker room or clubhouse of a professional sports franchise, please stop complaining. You have a job (or an incredible internship) and get to take part in an experience that makes your friends (and Bleacher Report contributors) envious.

If you don’t like something about the industry, it’s not the industry’s fault. You submitted yourself to it, and if you can’t live with it, then leave your job as a reporter. Lord knows that somebody else would gladly take it.

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