Sports

Philadelphia Eagles Hate Freedom, Eject Beat Writer Jeff McLane from Press Box

The reporting freedom of the American press has been under attack from all sides—and now the fucking Eagles are joining in.
January 1, 2017, 9:45pm

Eagles beat writer @Jeff_McLane being ejected from the press box for discussing press box etiquette w pr staff. pic.twitter.com/5IUdTdFEof
— Marcus Hayes (@inkstainedretch) January 1, 2017

The reporting freedom of the American press has been under attack from all sides: judges allowing wealthy citizens to personally sue individual journalists into oblivion, a President-elect who fomented mass hatred and distrust of the media attempting to cover him, and now NFL executives kicking beat writers out of press boxes just for trying to tell the truth.

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer was one of several Eagles media members trying to figure out a confusing call, as Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News tweeted. Per Bowen, an Eagles staffer "yelled" at the media to "be quiet," and McLane was the most vocal of several reporters who objected at such treatment.

Excellent question. It's their press box, but unless someone is cheering or cursing or doing something really disruptive they shouldn't care https://t.co/Cu4mSiKy21
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) January 1, 2017

Then, to the astonishment of all, McLane was told he was being ejected from the stadium for "violating the fan code of conduct."

Needless to say, McLane is no fan—and certainly not now. As Charles Robinson of Yahoo pointed out, this injury to Eagles journalism is self-inflicted: Eagles SVP Anne Gordon, who personally oversaw McLane's ejection, used to sit in a very big chair at the Inquirer:

#Eagles Anne Gordon is former "managing editor/vice president of news for The Philadelphia Inquirer"...@Jeff_McLane's current employer. https://t.co/PUbIPZa335
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) January 1, 2017

There's sure to be more on this when McClane shares his side of the story. It's already a terrible look for an Eagles organization that's hardly above reproach:

Eagles Sr VP Anne Gordon made it clear to everyone objecting that she would be happy to eject us all, and that fallout did not concern her.
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) January 1, 2017

As of yet, McLane has been tweeting typical post-game reportage, but has not addressed or acknowledged the incident.

In an age where in-house media teams are flooding the Internet with organization-approved news, this kind of unprofessional nonsense isn't just an embarrassment, it's an existential threat to independent sports coverage.

Let's hope Philadelphians hold the Eagles accountable, and stand up for the journalists who've been bringing them the unvarnished truth about all the Eagles' foibles over the last few years.

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