Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Panthers players lockout media

Players for the Carolina Panthers are going through a 2 week schedule of workouts at Charlotte Christian. You have to take our word for it, because the players won't let media in to witness it, photographers to shoot it, video cameras to record it.

I want to state for the record, I am against the lockout of this, but at the same time, I do understand some of the reasoning behind it. I understand that the guys just want to do some team building, get into a physical routine, and be as prepared for the time they are allowed back into NFL stadiums to play football.

Panthers tackle Jordan Gross has been instrumental in organizing the workouts, and was pleased by the turnout of over 50 players. He wouldn't get too specific as to who was or wasn't there, but he offered up the best reasoning for blocking the cameras, and writers. There are players taking part that have uncertain futures with the team, and for their protection (more of a courtesy in my opinion), Gross and company determined that keeping the media out allows these players to get work in, and prepare without distractions.

I'm ok with it, I really am.

On the flipside of that, here's the media's argument. It's been a summer of discontent between fans and the NFL. The lockout is now 3 months old, no movement is taking place, and it's all about courtrooms, rather than film rooms. I know the players simply want to play. I have taken up for them in this labor battle, because they didn't lock themselves out, nor did they sue to keep the league from playing games (which the NFL owners actually did).

Still, how much of a distraction is it for the media to be in attendance to witness and report what they see? It's not like the reporters are on the field, listening to all conversations. The photographers are sending the video to other players-only camps around the league so other teams can watch and learn things about Carolina. The media is the bridge between the game and the fans.

Getting off the subject a little, Twitter is an amazing thing. A couple of examples. On Tuesday, when it went public (actually happened Monday night), followers of many Panther media folks were questioning why being locked out of the practices was such a big deal. When reminded that the media is the link to the team for fans, that argument quickly quieted down.

Wednesday, I had a nice exchange with Gerald Alexander, a DB that finished the season with Carolina. He's a good guy, we had plenty of conversations through the season. We went back and forth on the merits of opening/closing workouts. No jabs, no sparring, just an honest and open exchange. I see his point, he saw mine. I like that.

Back to the topic, the best thing the Panthers could have done was open the workouts to the media. A guy can simply say he would rather not talk about certain things, or even talk at all. It is our job to report that the player declined an interview, but still, we have fair shake, and so too, does the player.

In the end, all anyone wants is to be treated fairly. The players are going through that with their ownerships. Just wish the buck didn't have to get passed along.

Mike Solarte

3 comments:

Betting Systems said...

Media lockout? What kind of training they are doing? I think the Panthers will shock the league this year. Maybe all people even the other teams are curios what the panthers are doing and what are the things they are planning.

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Jay said...

Is it the same lockout as the NBA right now? I'm sure this kind of experience really affect the industry. I hope it will be fix before the owners and players will have hair loss because of this stressful experience.