UPI: "Tigers Reverse Locker Room Policy"

United Press International National Wire, by Richard L. Shook

April 4, 1979

DETROIT  UPI – Women journalists can go into the previously all-male domain of the Detroit Tigers’ clubhouse this season for the first time under a reversal in team policy announced by President-General Manager Jim Campbell.

    Campbell, personally opposed to admitting women into men’s dressing rooms, acknowledged Wednesday the policy switch was made to avoid hassles, legal and otherwise, but said the move was subject to change if problems develop.

    Previously the club arranged for women journalists to interview players in a separate room adjacent to the clubhouse.  This type of arrangement was held to be discriminatory in a recent suit involving the New York Yankees.

    “I think the players have certain rights in this matter,” Campbell said, “but I realize that the media do, too.  However, the alternatives to an open clubhouse are undesirable since they can work hardships on both the players and male members of the media.”

    The Tigers’ clubhouse will be open to qualified members of both sexes at home and on the road, Campbell said.

    “It’s very good – but I am surprised by the decision,” noted one of the women who has been assigned to cover the Tigers this spring, Anne Doyle of WJBK-TV.

    “I’m glad that it came down from above rather than me or someone else having to make an issue of it,” Doyle said.  “I didn’t want to do that.  This will make it more comfortable for everybody.  I spoke to Campbell a couple of months ago to try to see if we could work something out,” said the daughter of sportscaster Vince Doyle of Detroit’s WWJ-AM.  “But you know he’s quite frank about it.  He didn’t want it.  No way.

    “I feel fine about it.  I’ve been in the Detroit Express locker room, so it’s not the first time.  Yes,” Doyle said, “I will be going in whenever I have work to do.  But I’m not going in just to see what’s in there.

    “I think if a man wants some privacy, that will be very easy to do.  Besides, when you’re doing an interview, you’re looking a man in the eye – not looking around the locker room.  It’s just like the medical profession.”

    “I knew it would come up,” she said.  “It’s a timely issue.  And I knew I would be in the middle of it.  I didn’t want to cause bad feelings with the players, the general managers, or the other members of the press corps.  That’s why I’m really glad it happened this way,” Doyle said.  “In another six months, it won’t be a big deal.”

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