PFWA statement on Jeff McLane/Philadelphia Eagles incident on Jan. 1, 2017

Greetings,

This past Sunday a credentialed reporter – Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer — was escorted from the press box, during a game, by representatives of the Philadelphia Eagles. For the past three days we have tried to make contact to all parties involved to construct as complete a picture of the events as we could.

To that end, I just wanted to keep everyone apprised of our organization’s stance on what transpired New Year’s Day. I, or Dan Pompei, have spoken to all parties involved, including a representative of the Eagles, representatives from the Inquirer, the NFL and I also spent some time this week talking to Jeff McLane as well. In fact, I initially contacted Mike Signora from the league shortly after McLane had been escorted from the press box at Lincoln Financial Field.

In the days since, representatives for the Eagles and for the Inquirer have had discussions about the incident and have agreed to have additional discussions as well to make sure the events are not repeated.

To that end:

–We, as an organization, have been assured this is not an incident that will be used as some future precedent. This is one-time incident that was handled in a highly inappropriate manner by the team. While McLane covered events at the Eagles’ facility the following day without incident, there was simply no reason for a credentialed member of the media to be escorted from the press box. We have made those feelings clear to all involved.

–There is no formal “well-understood code of conduct’’ – what the team cited in this instance – and to say there is, and then use that assumption to prevent a credentialed reporter from doing his/her work is highly inappropriate. A notice is read over the public address system in each press box in the league before each game about appropriate behavior/conduct in the press box. We believe our members routinely and virtually without fail conduct themselves in a professional manner.

–We must remain vigilant in our efforts to maintain a productive workplace for all of our members as well as others in our profession who we can aid with our experience and diligence.

Thanks one and all. Touch base if you have questions and hope to see as many of you as possible at our annual meeting at the Super Bowl

Jeff Legwold
PFWA President

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