Letter: Don Cherry, Bruins had first female reporter dressing room policy

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Robin Herman, a former hockey writer for the New York Times, wrote an online letter for ESPN to Don Cherry, containing an interesting tidbit about allowing female reporters into NHL locker rooms during the 1970s.

Here is a small part of what Herman wrote to and about Cherry. The letter was published online early Tuesday morning.

I’d gotten a lot of publicity for breaking “the locker room barrier” at the 1975 All-Star Game in Montreal, but that was a one-off. You were the first coach in the NHL to allow me, a female, accredited sports reporter and member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, into your locker room as a matter of policy. You were coaching the “Big Bad Bruins,” and it was ironic that a team with that reputation should be the most forward-thinking in the NHL.

Click here for the full version of the letter.

This comes after Cherry, the star of Hockey Night in Canada’s Coach’s Corner, said during his Saturday segment: “I don’t believe — and I really believe this — that women should be in a male dressing room.

“I remember the first time it happened to me, guys are walking around naked, and I hear this woman’s voice, I turn around and there’s a woman and she’s asking me about the power play. I said ‘let’s go outside,’ she said ‘I’m not embarrassed.’ I said ‘I am.’”

Cherry said this five days after Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith made a comment to a female reporter in Vancouver.

Herman, in her letter for ESPN, expressed disbelief when she heard about what Cherry said on television this weekend.

“You were all out of sorts about women reporters in the locker room. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Don’t you remember? I guess you don’t,” she wrote.