Github user zentol commented on the issue:

    https://github.com/apache/flink/pull/4504
  
    @twalthr noticed it and found it odd that we acquire a lock for doing 
metrics stuff, and asked me whether it is correct.
    
    Since we try to keep the overhead of metrics as low as possible not 
acquiring this look seems sensible. It also ties in to the convention of not 
acquiring locks that are necessary for the job progress.
    
    I may have been to quick with marking it as a blocker though.


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