The Bengals should be celebrating their 34-21 win over the Bills on Sunday, but some of them are having to deal with an incident that took place after the game in the locker room that was nationally televised.
In case you missed, Albert Breer of the NFL Network was interviewing Bengals cornerback Adam Jones after the game...while several Bengals were caught nude in the background as they were changing and taking showers. This is wrong on so many levels, not only because the interview was done under that circumstance, but though the interview was reportedly broadcast live, it was being watched by the NFL Network analysts who couldn't stop laughing after it was over, but still decided it was a good idea to continue airing it on national television.
Andrew Whitworth isn't just one of the game's best tackles, but he was in the past the Bengals' NFLPA representative. He's typically pretty outspoken on issues like this, and he made sure to voice his displeasure with what happened Sunday.
Watch for how many local or national media even touch this subject. Concerned it would hurt their access to us! Journalist Integrity ✔️— Andrew Whitworth (@BigWhit77_fndn) October 19, 2015
Whitworth also spoke with the media on Monday regarding the matter.
"It doesn't bother me personally," said Whitworth, as reported by Local 18's Joe Danneman. "But, as a guy who has always been against this policy (allowing reporters into NFL locker rooms), I think it's a great example why the open media room policy is old and needs to change."
Being an NFL player is a professional job, and players shouldn't be subjected to appearing naked (even by accident) on camera.
"This is my office space, I shouldn't have to change in it," Whitworth said. "Every single day I have to change clothes and be naked, or not, in front of media. It's just not right. There's no office - there's no other situation in America where you have to do that and it's dated, it's old and it needs to change."
Whitworth knows this was a mistake that could have been easily avoided had proper steps been taken. He also knows that this would have been a much bigger controversy nationally had this involved naked women caught on camera.
"If I was a woman, this would be a complete different subject," Whitworth said. "It would be a firestorm. So, we can't always just serve women and everyone else, men deserve a right, too. We have rights. We have privacy. We deserve all the things we want as well. As a man, I think it's right that the policy is changed."
NFL Network Vice President Alex Riethmiller issued the following statement Monday in regards to the situation:
"It was a regrettable mistake by our production team," Riethmiller said via conference call for Bengals media on Monday. "We've already done a pretty thorough review of the pictures and processes that were dropped along the way to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Hopefully, this whole ordeal leads to a stronger media policy that prevents this from happening again.