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MLB, MLS, NBA, NHL to limit locker room access due to coronavirus fears

Players will be available to media in designated locations outside locker rooms

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad speaks to the media in the Florida Panthers locker room.
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad speaks to the media in the Florida Panthers locker room. (David Dwork - WPLG)

MIAMI – As governments across the globe continue to deal with the outbreak of COVID-19, professional sports leagues in North America are taking serious precautions.

In a joint statement released by Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, there will be some serious restrictions as to who is permitted inside locker room and around players.

The joint statement read, in full:

“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. Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting. These 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.”

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Earlier Monday, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee postponed a media summit in Tokyo, Japan, citing coronavirus fears.

The event was scheduled to kick off on Sunday and countless internationally known athletes, such as Diana Taurasi, Carli Lloyd and and Ryan Lochte, were scheduled to appear.

The 2020 Olympic Games are set to begin on July 24 in Tokyo.

About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.