Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Hockey League (NHL) have temporarily limited access to locker rooms to players and essential staff due to coronavirus fears.
“After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, and given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice,” the leagues said in a joint statement Monday evening.
“Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting. These temporary changes will be effective beginning with tomorrow’s games and practices.”
“We will continue to closely monitor this situation and take any further steps necessary to maintain a safe and welcoming environment,” the statement said.
With baseball season set to start soon, a spokesman said earlier Monday that things were still a go. The NBA indicated to several news outlets that it might consider holding games without fans if that was deemed necessary – as soccer leagues in Europe have done. And according to reports over the weekend, college sports executives have discussed reducing the number of venues where games are played during the N.C.A.A. men’s and women’s basketball tournaments set to start in less than two weeks.