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March 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

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Female reporters in the clubhouse, Part 2

Take 2's Megan Stewart wrote the first part of this series Tuesday. See it here. This is the second installment, with photos by Evie Carpenter.



Nothing happened.

All the time I spent worried about every little situation that could happen, and all the energy I expended on my anxiety was for nothing.

This goes to show just how much of an issue female reporters in the locker room is. I was there to interview a player, not draw attention to myself. The players and coaches weren't out to get me because of my gender. I wasn't trying to instigate an incident for 15 minutes of fame on SportsCenter.

Veteran Mariners radio reporter Shannon Drayer said this is the norm of most locker rooms. The once hot-button issue of women in the mens locker room is pretty much moot.

"Those barriers have been broken down," Drayer said. "The organizations really act swiftly if they see something that goes on and its just not accepted and I think for the most part its been knocked out to the point where it's probably better than it is in most work environments."

Thumbnail image for EHC42_Shannon Drayer.jpg

Shannon Drayer has been covering the Mariners on radio for years. (Photo by Evie Carpenter)

Not exactly the response one might expect, but the fact of the matter is in the industry and with the teams, this is normal. Things happen when people are seeking that attention outside of their work, whether this is a player making a comment or a female reporter looking for a scandal.

Women are lumped together. People's perceptions of women reporters often are that of Ines Sainz and the New York Jets, but there are many more women reporters who conduct themselves like Drayer and Angie Mentink (from Part 1) in that they do their job and act like a professional.

"On a professional level, I think women are on equal footing," Drayer said. "As far as if you handle yourself in a professional manner and you do the work, I don't think being a woman is a strike against you in this industry anymore."

Kevin Millwood, 37, has been in the majors for 13 years. Before joining the Mariners this year, he was with the Rockies, Yankees and Red Sox. Needless to say, he's been in a lot of locker rooms, but said he has never had a problem with a female reporter.

"I don't see it as a big deal," Millwood said. "Everyone's here to do a job and it doesn't bother me."

As far as the other players he has been in the clubhouse with, Millwood said most share his same opinion, but there's a select few with an agenda.

"There's always going to be somebody thats got a problem with everything," Millwood said. "Whether it's that or it's music or whatever, somebodys going to be mad about something all the time."

EHC43_Millwood.jpg

Mariners P Kevin Millwood says treatment of women journalists with respect is common sense.

Millwood said he, like teammate Kyle Seager, received training on how to conduct himself with the media early on in his baseball career and that the information was mostly common sense.

"When I was first coming up, I went to a rookie career development program," Millwood said. "It's pretty much just try not to be a dumbass. Treat everybody with some level of respect."

This sums up the atmosphere of the Mariners locker room, and I am very grateful that I am able to take advantage of the opportunity to cover the Mariners just like every other sports reporter, male or female.


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