Yesterday, a female sports columnist was excluded from a post-tournament interview with Rory McIlroy because it took place in the locker room of a Georgia golf club that bans women. Officials have apologized, but the controversy highlights the sexist restrictions still in place at some clubs.
The Associated Press reports that Tara Sullivan of The Bergen Record was prevented from entering the locker room at the Augusta National Club along with other reporters by a female security guard. "She just said women were not allowed and there was no official in sight," Sullivan said. Female reporters are regularly allowed into locker rooms for interviews, but it seems the security guard was unaware of this exception to the club's policy.
Last night, Sullivan Tweeted:
Bad enough no women members at Augusta. But not allowing me to join writers in locker room interview is just wrong.
Augusta National spokesman Steve Ethun apologized to Sullivan privately, and told the press, "It should not have happened ... We will work as hard as we can to make sure it does not happen again."
Sullivan discussed the incident in a column posted today, saying she was able to include McIlroy's reaction in her article because male reporters shared his quotes with her after the interview. She concluded:
The issue touched a nerve for many reasons. Augusta National does not allow women members, so perhaps security personnel could be confusing club policy with Masters policy. But women journalists have every right to be allowed wherever their male colleagues go, a right already determined by law. If they want to close the locker room to interviews, then they have to do it for everyone, not just me.
Even if the situation was just a misunderstanding, Sullivan was still prevented from doing her job by the club's anti-female policies. While she only discusses the treatment of reporters, it seems the bigger issue is why the club is still discriminating against women in general.
Master Officials Apologize To Female Reporter [AP]
Sullivan: My Side Of The Story On Being Denied Access To Masters Locker Room [NorthJersey.com]