The Jets’ on-field troubles seem to have seeped into their locker room as players claim they are being watched without their knowledge or permission.
The New York Daily News reported on Saturday that Jets players and their representatives informed the NFL Players Association that they discovered what appeared to be surveillance equipment disguised as smoke detectors in the training facility locker rooms. These reports first hit the NFLPA in October and the association “immediately informed the NFL.”
Per sources, the NFL responded by claiming that the cameras had been in the facility since 2008 when the team moved to its new training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey. Insiders also say that the players were made aware of the cameras making the equipment compliant with NFL regulations.
“A league spokesperson informed the Daily News that the league responded directly to the union, and no further action is required by the Jets.”
Despite this, the Daily News spoke to several current and former players—none of whom were aware they were being taped. “I’m pissed,” one former player said. “That’s our space. Why would you have a camera in there? That’s bullsh—.”
The locker room and training facility are areas where players feel the freedom to be themselves. Yet not only would these cameras be a moral violation, but they would also be a crime if players were not aware they were being filmed. Because players could potentially be naked in the locker room, unknowingly filming them is against New Jersey state law.
“An actor commits a crime of the third degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he photographs, films, videotapes, records, or otherwise reproduces in any manner, the image of another person whose intimate parts are exposed or who is engaged in an act of sexual penetration or sexual contact, without that person’s consent and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not expect to be observed,” a statute enacted by New Jersey in 2016 reads, per the Daily News.
Players speculate that the increase in cameras is sparked by distrust within the organization at various levels. “It doesn’t surprise me,” another former player said. “Some people over there are pretty worried about what’s done behind closed doors or in the locker room.”
It’s unclear if head coach Adam Gase or general manager Joe Douglas were aware of these cameras. Yet with the Jets sitting at 0-8, it’s likely that they will have to wade through this drama since as they try to turn this season around.