Coronavirus: Four major American sports leagues ban media from locker rooms

Coronavirus: Four major American sports leagues ban media from locker rooms

Major League Baseball remains committed to playing a full slate of spring training games and starting its regular season on time, but joined the National Basketball Association in closing locker rooms to media to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus, sources tell ESPN. These changes will be effective beginning with tomorrow's games and practices.

(CNN)As the coronavirus continues to spread, U.S. professional sports leagues have taken steps to protect athletes and staff.

After a conference call with the 30 big-league clubs, Major League Baseball said it recognized the fluidity of the situation, but intends to play all spring training games and regular season games as scheduled. The Sixers have 18 games left in the 2019-20 regular season and the Flyers 14, while the Union are two games into the 2020 regular season.

The Professional Basketball Writers Association released a statement Monday in response to the NBA's new measures.

During a conference call with ownership Monday evening, the league continued forward with its plan to stay on schedule for a March 26 opening to the season, sources familiar with the call told ESPN. The NBA reportedly made the choice based on the recommendation of infectious disease and public health experts.

As concerns over COVID-19 continue to mount, the NHL, NBA, MLB and MLS have taken a step towards trying to limit the impact of the outbreak on its players, coaches and other employees. The MLB also announced that they would also close locker rooms to media over worries of coronavirus.

The PBWA supports the league's decision to temporarily close locker rooms, but noted that locker room access is "essential to good sports journalism".

Major League Baseball has "given no indication that teams will need to delay the season or play games without fans present" due to the coronavirus crisis, according to a report from Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The NBA has been working in consultation with the National Hockey League and MLB on the decision, sources said.

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