Washington Redskin RB Clinton Portis is no stranger to unusual press conferences. However, even by his standards, his recent comments about female reporters in the lockerroom were outrageous.
Portis’ comments essentially insinuated (well, actually directly said) that all the players would be “checking out” a female reporter and that there had to be at least one guy in the group whose “package” was attractive to her.
Portis’ exact quotes were:
“I think you put women reporters in the locker room in position to see guys walking around naked, and you sit in the locker room with 53 guys, and all of the sudden you see a nice woman in the locker room. I think men are going to tend to turn and look and want to say something to that woman.”
“Somebody got to spark her interest, or she’s gonna want somebody. I don’t know what kind of woman won’t, if you get to go and look at 53 men’s packages.”
The NFL rightly took a strong stance against these comments and stated that the remarks were “inappropriate, offensive and have no place in the NFL.”
This whole situation harkens back to the initial controversies involving Lisa Olson from the Boston Globe and the New England Patriots in 1990. It is hard to believe that 20 years later we are still faced with these types of issues but the Olson incident was a catalyst for great change in the way that sports were covered and the access that was provided to female reporters.
Given that Portis’ comments come on the heels of the Jet’s treatment of Inez Sainz, I would expect the NFL to take a strong stance and provide a stern warning to its teams.