“When you’re in the locker rooms,” she asked, “and players are changing, do you notice their penises?”
This is a question many male reporters have faced, and with rare exception they almost always respond with, “Of course not” and “Hell no” and “Are you kidding me?”
They are, across the board, full of shit.
I have never entered a clubhouse looking for penises. I have never entered a clubhouse thinking of penises. Truth be told, I rarely notice them. But, the reality is, when you’re walking through a room of naked people, you can’t help but (on occasion) observe. You just can’t. Every so often, some writers would laugh over “the size of that guy”—meaning he’s REALLY large or t-e-e-n-y tiny. Again, not often. But it happens.
That’s actually the funny thing about the whole Jason Collins thing. Players who worry about gays in the locker room aren’t worried about being assaulted or raped. No, they’re worried about the discomfort of being looked at; being considered; being studied; being admired or ridiculed or … whatever. Well, that stuff happens all the time. From teammates. From coaches. From team employees. And, yes, from reporters. It all reminds me of a story a female journalist one told me about her days covering the Pittsburgh Pirates. Supposedly a particularly large slugger was being piggish in the clubhouse one afternoon, making suggestive jokes toward her about his penis. He told her she could come on over and “suck it,” to which she replied, “I might consider, but I’d never be able to find it under all those mounds of blubber.”
The room exploded in laughter.