By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The global coronavirus outbreak is beginning to creep into sports and greatly affect their usual logistics. That reportedly will extend to the media, but it’s apparently not a league mandate yet because in Boston it’s business as usual.
Despite a recent report by Elliotte Friedman that the NHL will close locker room access to reporters amid coronavirus fears, the Bruins as of Monday are still following their typical procedures with media and the locker rooms. Reporters were allowed in the TD Garden dressing room after Saturday’s loss to the Lightning, and again on Monday after practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
Players are beginning to have to field questions about coronavirus, too. So, they turned to the only man in America worth asking about it right now: Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. He took the opportunity to deliver a stunningly thought-provoking message that may ultimately change the way sports teams are run in the face of a deadly disease: “It’s kind of spreading, eh?”
According to Friedman, the NHL’s new locker room policy was supposed to go into effect immediately. That obviously wasn’t the case, certainly not in Boston.
As of Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had 164 cases and 11 deaths due to coronavirus reported to them in the U.S. Multiple reports on Monday indicate that the total number of reported cases in the U.S. has grown to over 500, with the death toll rising to over 20. Over 3,800 deaths have been reported worldwide.
The news (and similar reports across sports) has sparked little debates in pockets of social media about the value of allowing media access to locker rooms. Reporters got on their soap boxes, fans took dumps down their throats. Standard stuff. The truth is the value lies in how said reporters conduct themselves and do their jobs. And of course there are plenty of athletes who make for good soundbites.
But for now, there’s no separation of athletes and media with the Bruins. One of the regular procedures on Monday was Bruce Cassidy’s press conference, in which he announced that Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug will both be out Tuesday at Philadelphia with upper body injuries. The good news, though, is that Carlo will be targeting a return on Friday.
Cassidy is always highly entertaining to listen to, so as long as he gets to talk then the league can do whatever it wants with the media procedures.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.