The final of the last US Open ends and the defeated, Aryna Sabalenka, congratulate the new champion, Coco Gauff, leaves the court with elegance, maintains his manners in the hallways, reaches the locker room and there, with the door closed, he transforms and breaks his racket with rage, angry, unleashed. She thinks she’s already alone, but no. We are all seeing it. «Those images should not have come to light. “It’s a private moment in an empty locker room,” he claims. Judy Murrayformer tennis player and former coach of her children Jamie y Andy Murray.
The Athletic-Real Madrid match on the first day of the League is about to begin and the local team players form a group in their locker room so that the captain, Iker Muniain, pray the Lord’s Prayer. The ritual comes from afar and is broadcast for the first time. Those present, it seems, do not know that they are live. «The locker room is something personal, something private, something for us. You can be praying and you don’t want anyone to find out. We players have pet peeves that we don’t want to come to light. I don’t like it, I feel uncomfortable,” explains the goalkeeper of the team and of Spain, Unai Simon.
These are two examples, but there are many, more and more. Where is the limit? In pursuit of the spectacle, cameras and microphones are invading spaces around sport that were until now inaccessible – changing rooms, benches, call cameras, service cars… – and multiple protagonists have already shown their discomfort. Last November, Sky Sport Italia even showed the Juventus goalkeeper naked Wojciech Szczesny in the run-up to a match and he later appealed for his rights. Entertainment vs. privacy. A growing debate that goes beyond modesty and that, according to the protagonists, has a long way to go. In some ways it is changing the sport.
«In my opinion, it affects performance. I have never agreed with there being cameras during time-outs, but putting them in the locker room seems horrifying to me. The communication between a coach and his players changes, everyone’s way of behaving changes, everything is more artificial, more tense, everything is different,” he argues. Jota Cuspineraformer coach of Fuenlabrada, Zaragoza or Estudiantes, who remembers the beginning of the controversy in basketball.
«When they started recording the timeouts they assured us that it was to better explain the game and almost all of the coaches accepted. Aito García Reneses, for example, already said no, that he would pay the fines if necessary, but that he did not want to be recorded. He was right. With that mythical ‘Put the microphone in there!’ of Ramon Trecet We already saw that what mattered was not the game, it was the morbidity,” argues Cuspinera, who remembers when cameras began to enter the locker rooms and his players decided, as a protest, to receive them “naked.” «By the fifth game the cameras were already waiting outside. The locker room is our living room or, rather, our bathroom. No stranger should enter the bathroom with you without consent. Furthermore, what does it do to record a player who has just lost and is sunk? “We have gone from selling sports to selling pure morbidity,” Cuspinera proclaims.