Independent media will not have access to locker rooms during the upcoming NFL season, and all non-players in a team locker room must be fully vaccinated.
In a memo sent to teams on Tuesday, the NFL outlines the 2021 locker room policy and notes a list of non-player personnel approved to be in locker rooms. The list includes coaching staff, athletic training staff, equipment staff, general manager, team security, club public relations/communications, and clubhouse and locker room support staff.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted the memo, which informs clubs that effective immediately, locker room access while players are present on game day, will be limited to 50 people and no media will be allowed unless they’re club-affiliated.
In bold and underlined, the memo reads: “Non-club-affiliated media will not be permitted in the locker room.”
Pelissero said there have been almost no media in the locker rooms during the 2021 preseason, with limited exceptions for certain network partners, but now there will be no more exceptions except for those employed by the team. The media ban is set to extend into the regular season.
In 2020, the NFL limited locker room access to 40 non-players but there was no limit through the first two weeks of the 2021 preseason, Pelissero reports.