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. abell

    I wouldnt listen to my mother either, i would be hooting too. She is awesome. Can anyone tell me where i can find a woman like that

    September 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tin

    "The Jets are one of the favorites to go the Super Bowl this season"
    Really??? Or this CNN's attempt at inserting humor in this article

    September 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JJmedia

    We live in a society where Men are blamed for so much harrasment, now a Woman reporter walks into a Mens locker room and they are supposed to be quiet? Why was a Female reporter in a Male dominant environmnet in the first place. If a Male walked into a Female dominant environment guess what happens. . . . . . .S.W.A.T, ATF, FBI, GBI and the Locsl sheriff dept comes and arrest the indivisual. . . . .Let's solve the issue by making everything COED!!!! how about that?

    September 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kevin

    Give me a break. this is a non-story

    September 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John B

    Wow! Another case of LOOK AT ME BUT DON'T LOOK AT ME!!! Some women need to get a life.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kristi

    I see how this works. A ridiculously hot woman wears ridiculously hot clothes and goes into the men's locker room. Then all she has to do is wait for someone to say something, get offended, and wait for the big settlement check!

    September 13, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Askgees

    It's time to ban women from reporting on sports. Sorry but the world does not need to rearrange to fit the working woman in. The working woman must make the adjustments. This group The Association for Women in Sports Media is a pathetic joke and no one should give them the time of day. I agree with the poster who said it must have been some fat or ugly woman not getting attention that filed a complaint. So to be fair to all the NFL should ban female reporters from the field and locker room. All this does is create the run a muck groups like The Association for Women in Sports Media

    September 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Christine Smith

    This sounds like a non-story and meant to drag the Jets' name through the mud. The media are truly a bunch of d-bags.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rick70003

    I think this is just terrible. Ms Sainz, please if you ever come to my home town to cover our football team.. Call me up first I would be happy to be your body guard ..... GO SAINTS

    September 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DLJ

    Talk about a story that is much ado about NOTHING. This woman waits one day before the season to file this claim? Gee, I wonder why. This has about as much validity as the recent Steven Seagal case. What a NONSENSE story.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. NJ

    so did Mark 'the situation' Sanchez get her number? I smell a spinoff...

    September 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tonyb

    hot babe walks into a pro football practice and gets whistled at. WOW....News. The other PC puritans should lighten up and get a life.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cindy

    There was no harrassment here. She said so herself that she was not offended and they were all joking. The MEDIA is trying to create something that did not happen. WOW we must be desperate for news these days! Personally I do not think female reports have any business in the mens locker room any way! Hopefully this female reporter will tell the trueth and set things straight. NOW.....is there any REAL news with REAL facts and REAL Proof??? Please report on that would ya!!

    September 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tonyb

    oh please... cover up the ta-ta's, wear looser clothing and no makeup. No problem. Look at me but don't look at me. idiotic.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Come on...

    If she didn't want to hollered at and eye-f**cked by a bunch of athletes, she wouldn't dress the way she does in the picture in this article. Most women who claim harassment ask for it in my opinion. What did she expect?

    September 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
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