The NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer are closing access to locker rooms and clubhouses to all nonessential personnel – including media – in response to the coronavirus crisis; saying they made the decision “after consultation with infectious disease and public health experts.” The NBA stressed that the move is not to ban reporters but to ensure the safety of players and staff in those areas.
The leagues announced in a joint statement, in part: “Given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice. Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting.”
The changes will begin immediately, though some NHL teams began putting them into use this past weekend. It is unclear how long the new policies will last.