September 13th, 2010
06:34 PM ET

Reporter says she accepts Jets owner's apology

[Updated, 6:34 p.m.] The owner of the New York Jets has apologized to a TV Azteca reporter following allegations that Jets personnel harassed her at practice this weekend, and she has accepted, the reporter told CNN's Rick Sanchez on Monday.

The NFL says it is investigating media reports that Jets players behaved inappropriately - including allegedly hooting and hollering at her in their locker room - when Ines Sainz visited the team Saturday to interview Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez for the Mexican TV network.

Sainz said Monday that Jets owner Woody Johnson called her to apologize. ESPNNewYork.com reported earlier Monday that Johnson said he offered an "open apology" to her.

"I accept the apologies, and I said thanks to him for the concern and all the rest of the team, because he promised that he is going to make everybody on his team respect … women," Sainz said on CNN's "Rick's List." "And I think the important point is that women deserve respect in any profession, so I think it's going to happen."

Sainz said that although she told Johnson not to worry, she did feel a little uncomfortable because of players' behavior in the locker room, and that she thinks the behavior was unacceptable.

"I think that it’s not good that this kind of thing happened, and it mustn't happen anymore. I'm agreeing with the idea that it's good that everybody knows that a woman or a man deserve the same treatment in the locker room," Sainz said.

According to the New York Post, Sainz claims that while she was standing on the sidelines at practice, Jets coach Rex Ryan and a member of his staff overthrew passes so they would land near her.

Then, when she entered the locker room to interview Mark Sanchez, she said she heard players discussing her.

"I try not to hear anything, try not to pay attention. My cameraman told me, 'Don't look on the right, don't look at the left," she said. "But I really feel the noise and all the environment was talking about me."

She said she never felt she was in danger in the locker room. Later, she said, other reporters said they heard the players say things about her that she didn’t hear.

"One colleague – one female colleague – came with me and [told] me, 'I'm so sorry. It mustn't happen. It's not OK,'" Sainz said. "So I tried to calm her. … I really know that she [heard] something that I didn't hear, and the rest of the media … heard things that I didn't really hear. So I really appreciate the concern about it."

[Original post, 9:58 a.m.] The New York Jets think this is their year. They were one game from the Super Bowl last season, were just featured on HBO’s NFL documentary series “Hard Knocks” and their coach Rex Ryan is on the cover of this week’s New York Times magazine and seems to love putting himself and his team in the spotlight.

So you’d think that with their season starting tonight with the first game in their brand new stadium, on Monday Night Football no less, they’d be thrilled to be on the front page of the New York tabloid papers. But today’s publicity isn't the kind of publicity the Jets really want - the league is investigating whether coach Ryan, a member of his staff, and some of his players behaved inappropriately toward TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz.

Sainz, working with one of the most popular Mexican TV networks, was at the Jets camp Saturday to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez.

According to the New York Post, Sainz claims Ryan and assistant coach Dennis Thurman overthrew passes so they would land near her. The Post also says Jets players allegedly hooted and hollered with Sainz walked in the locker room.

Sainz, former Miss Spain, tweeted that she was “dying of embarrassment” according the Post.

Sainz' Twitter page

TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz pictured during the 2007 Super Bowl.

Sainz, being her own Monday morning quarterback, addressed the concerns in an interview with a TV Azteca reporter, saying while she was embarrassed, she didn't realize it was going to become that big of a deal.

Sainz told her colleague that she did notice that footballs were being thrown her way but, “to be quite honest, it didn’t bother me… I took it as a joke, and none of the footballs actually hit me.”

“It was definitely a joking tone, very amicable," Sainz said, regarding the tone Sanchez had with her. “I wasn’t offended.”

But she did say in the interview that she didn't hear everything said about her - and apparently several other members of the media took the interactions much more seriously. She added perhaps they heard something she hadn't.

“I was surprised to wake up on Sunday and have a call from the NFL , saying that they wanted to talk to me about what had happened at the Jets; and I asked… what happened?" Sainz told TV Azteca. "And they said well there is a pretty powerful accusation of harassment and then it was at that point I realized the magnitude of what had happened. “

The NFL says it’s investigating and The Association for Women in Sports Media says the Jets and the league have been responsive to their concerns. They also say on their website that they plan to hold an educational session for the Jets this week or next.

The Jets are one of the favorites to go the Super Bowl this season, but the New York Daily News’s Gary Myers looks at how this incident could derail the team if they’re not careful.

soundoff (861 Responses)
  1. WDrad

    Why is a hispanic station even covering Football. Aren't they busy with drug murders and mediocre soccer?

    September 13, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rocco

      Have you ever traveled out your little town? I guess not. Do you know what globalization is?

      September 13, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rocco

    She said she didn't feel offended, this is more a scandal created by the media.
    I read some comments in the media that she was not dressed appropriaetly, which is ridiculous unless jeans are prohibited and the US is looking more like Afganistan these days!!
    By the way, Ines is married and has children. She's covered many soccer events and never had a situation like this. I guess American ladies need to take better care of themselves.

    September 13, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Corkpuller

    No more women on the playing field or in the locker rooms. End of problem. IT's a LOCKER ROOM with naked gladiators testosterone levels at a peak. Send in Betty White if you don't want a problem not the hottest model/reporter you can find.

    September 13, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. dave

    Great. Dress like that on a football side line and then expect no one to say anything. Very professional and says alot about your class. More PC BS. Get over it.

    September 13, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Matt

    I have to say – I love this. Not because of the harassment, but because the Jets are so overconfident and full of hubris that they are going to have a spectacular failure this season. This will be one in a series of events that signals their downfall.

    September 13, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. thhhhhhhhhh

    It makes me uncomfortable when the Jets are on tv because they suck

    September 13, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Chris

    That's just rediculous. I'm sorry but people are ALLOWED TO TALK about whatever they want. I would think a JOURNALIST or REPORTER would agree with that. No one was coming up to her and slapping her on the butt. No one was going up to her saying "I'll rock your world" and then not backing off if she asked. I think she needs to be the one apologizing. This world has become the land of the not free. People are being way too PC in this world. It is our duty to PUSH the boundaries not be continually squeezed by them. I hope that woman lost any respect people felt towards her.

    September 13, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. maX

    SHE JUS WANTS ATTENTION GOOGLE HER AND U WILL SEE FLAUNTING IN ALL HER SKIMPY OUTFITS. GIVE ME A BREAK. AND A GIRL SHOULDNT EVEN BE IN A MENS LOCKER ROOM, THATS INAPPROPRIATE PERIOD.

    September 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Rich

    Give me a break. Google the woman's name and the first thing you'll see are swimsuit modeling shoots she's done. Just another attractive prima donna grabbing headlines. I can only hope it hurts her chances at landing better jobs later, as she's put a black mark on the name of others for nothing.

    September 13, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Rich

    Give me a break. Google the woman's name and the first thing you'll see are swimsuit modeling shoots she's done. Just another attractive prima donna grabbing headlines. I can only hope it hurts her chances at landing better jobs later.

    September 13, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Rich

    Give me a break. Search for the woman's name and the first thing you'll see are swimsuit modeling shoots she's done. Just another attractive prima donna grabbing headlines. I can only hope it hurts her chances at landing better jobs later.

    September 13, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. going fast

    SHE GOT JUST WHAST SHE WANTED. SHE HAS AS MUCH BIZ IN A TEAMS LOCKER ROOM, AS AS A HOUND DOG IN GEORGIA.. NEXT TIME SHE'LL LEARN.............

    September 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. jim

    i am sorry, but i really dont think female reporters should have access to a mens lockeroom.certainly there are more appropriate places for intervfiews to be held. you never see a male reporter being allowed into a female locker room to hold interviews?

    September 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Dan

    You are in a MEN'S LOCKER ROOM. What do you expect?

    September 13, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. sillybilly

    They should put that @ss in cooperstown!

    September 13, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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