Reports surfaced last week that some New York Jets players had complained after learning of surveillance cameras in the locker room at their New Jersey practice facility, which prompted an NFLPA investigation.
Guard Greg Van Roten, who is the team’s union representative, disputed that report on Tuesday. Players on the team, he said, are fine with the security cameras.
“Talking to the guys on the team, nobody cares that there are cameras in there,” Van Roten said, via ESPN. “We know why they’re there. They’re there to protect us if something happens, if something goes missing.
“It’s not like they’re spying on us, you know what I mean?”
Van Roten disputes that players didn’t know about cameras
Jets players reportedly learned of the cameras, which were hidden in smoke detectors and have been there since 2008, and filed a complaint with the league in recent weeks. The NFL, however, concluded that the Jets had broken no rules.
That’s when players went to the NFLPA, which is now investigating whether or not they violate terms of the current CBA.
The cameras are reportedly only there for security purposes, and footage is only accessed by members of the security department as needed — for example, if a theft is reported in the locker room. Footage is only retained on a 30-day rolling schedule.
“We all know there are cameras in there. It’s no secret,” Van Roten said, via ESPN. “The team is up front about that. It’s an ongoing conversation between the NFLPA and the NFL Management Council regarding that. There are different perspectives on if that’s OK, if it’s not OK. The players’ issue with it is not privacy-related. I’ll say that.”
While Van Roten said everyone knows about the cameras, both ESPN and the New York Daily News spoke with current and former players who had no idea.
“I’m pissed,” one former player said, via the Daily News. “That’s our space. Why would you have a camera in there? That’s bulls---.”
According to Van Roten, players’ concerns about the cameras may be due to new COVID-19 protocols that were implemented in recent weeks and whether or not they can be punished for violations through security footage, per ESPN.
How far the complaint got, or who made it, is still unknown.
“I don’t know if a player on our team complained or how it got to where it got,” Van Roten said, via ESPN. “I just know no one was surprised about that. I don’t think it’s unique to the Jets that there are cameras adjacent to — and sometimes in the locker room. The CBA is a very powerful tool. There are a lot of rights the teams have and the jurisdiction gets kind of cloudy as to who has the say here.”
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