For the love of the sport (and shirtless men), don't shut the doors!

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No press in the U.S. Open locker rooms: First the USTA started a campaign to systematically take down every single U.S. Open-related clip on YouTube — a bad move for a sport still struggling to gain mainstream popularity (why miss out on the chance to go viral?) — and last week they added another barrier between athlete and public by barring press from the locker rooms at this year’s tournament.

Instead, reporters will get to chat with players in their dining hall. Hopefully this won’t adversely affect the news, because coverage of tennis in mainstream media is laughable enough as it is…

But hey, at least we have Nole footage from the Roland Garros locker room. Cherish it while it lives in the internet.

(Sports Business Journal)

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Comments

  1. says

    I understand what they’re trying to do with making $$ from all the video (Wimbledon Live, etc.) — but having tennis vid clips penetrate all the ends of the internet shouldn’t hurt the sport’s Q rating. I’m tired of people baffled by tennis’ lack of popularity (compared to basketball, baseball, etc) when things like this keep happening.

  2. says

    Are the “powers that be” really so misguided? The sport is dying in the U.S. and the USTA is banging nails in its coffin. Lighten up, USTA. It’s not all about the shirtless pictures, it’s about seeing the players cut up and laugh with each other and giving the sport in general a boost by humanizing the players.

    Greed. It rears its ugly head yet again.

  3. says

    ARE YOU SERIOUS?! That’s the dumbest thing EVER!!! Seriously, tennis players have always been one of the most approachable athletes around where they don’t really have bodyguards and fans can actually go up to them and have a full-on conversation. How do you ban the PRESS from talkin’ to them in the locker room?! You already can’t scream out during a point; what’s next? No audience at all? (Which’ll prolly happen as there’s less and less access to the players now.)

  4. says

    I think I kind of understand this new rule. When a player is getting ready for a match, the last thing he or she needs is to be bothered by the media. Like all sports, tennis takes a lot of mental preparation, and it can be distracting to a player to have the press flashing cameras and yelling questions in their face just before they’re about to take center court. (Not to mention potentially unfair. You know the 168th ranked player in the world is not getting that kind of attention right before he’s about to play Roger Federer, while Federer is. Then again, he has to play Federer, and that’s unfair enough.) The point is, this might make the match a bit more fair for the players themselves.

    That having been said, there is such a thing as freedom of the press in this country, and if the USTA is going to ban reporters from the locker rooms, they really should make the players more easily available somewhere else (and the dining hall doesn’t count).

  5. says

    I feel like tennis stars, although well respected and are appreciated for their talents and abilities, are pampered far more than any other athletes and this goes to show the extent to which they are protected. Its sad, but expected.

  6. Anita says

    it would suck, this videos makes people feel closer to the players and humanize them…. plus novak’s are so funny!!

    this is only GOOD for tennis, i dont get the USTA

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