SBD/December 7, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB Becomes First North American Pro League To Issue Dress Code For Media Members

MLB has become the "first major pro league in North America to issue dress guidelines for media members, putting them in writing this week at the winter meetings," according to Ben Walker of the AP. The dress code prohibits "beachwear and club outfits," as well as flip-flops, "visible undergarments, tank tops or anything with a team logo." MLB was "aware of the flap caused in the NFL when a Mexican TV reporter drew unwanted attention at the New York Jets' training camp in September 2010 and it formed a committee of executives and media representatives to work on guidelines." The panel "included female and Latin reporters and there was input from team trainers." The "skimpy attire worn by some of the TV reporters covering the Marlins in Miami drew particular scrutiny." MLB Senior VP/Club Relations Phyllis Merhige said, "There's no one who expects reporters to wear a suit and tie. But with the advent of different media, there are now individuals who are not part of a bigger organization that may have a dress code." The new rules ban "sheer and see-through clothing, ripped jeans, one-shouldered, strapless shirts or clothing exposing bare midriffs." Also listed are "'excessively short' skirts, dresses or shorts cut more than 3-4 inches above the knee." MLB said that it would "consider appropriate actions if the guidelines were broken" (AP, 12/6).

TWITTER REAX: SportsBusiness Journal's Eric Fisher wrote on his Twitter feed, "Lot of jokes re: new baseball writer dress code. But it basically codifies common sense. Any self-respecting pro already avoids banned items." Current TV's Keith Olbermann wrote, "If it had been a WELL-dressed code, would've wiped out everybody except Vin Scully."'s Craig Calcaterra wrote, "Don't worry: pleated Dockers still OK." The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Biertempfel wrote, "Maybe I'm wearing a sweater vest today to comply with the new MLB dress code for media." Sportscaster Len Berman wrote, "MLB new dress code for the media, banning skimpy skirts....that's just for the women reporters, right?" The San Diego Union-Tribune's Tim Sullivan wrote, "I'm embarrassed MLB has imposed a dress code on media covering the game. Not because it's an infringement, because we've gotten too lax."'s Mike Freeman wrote, "I want to see baseball actually enforce this alleged dress code."
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