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. Enforcer55

    I really don't care for ANY and I say ANY women to be anywhere near an NFL game. I'm sick and tired of that sweaky female voice interrupting my game. Almost as bad as your wife asking you to do something during a critial part of the game. (commercials). Get these women out of the pre-game and game. Glad I have a MUTE button on my remote.

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

    She states on her own twitter that she took nothing seriously and that everyone was just joking around...and now this? Contraditions my dear will get you nothing but a liar badge! I think your collegues just ruined your career!

    September 13, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pat

    hey jen, where u located?

    September 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jack

    Say what you want, but her picture says it all about why people are wary of "journalists" like her. She dresses that way because it attracts attention. She gets access where other people don't. Sorry, but it isn't professional. I feel bad for legitimate female reporters.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jojo

    Was she the snack?

    September 13, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. D. Jones

    What do you expect from a bimbo?

    September 13, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. D

    SHE is not complaining, so there is no basis for a harrassment claim. You can not claim harrassment on another person's behalf. Whoever was offended is prob. jealous because no one was hooting at HER. Everyone needs to grow a thicker skin

    September 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ian

    This is beyond stupid. She doesn't work for the Jets so it is not like she is an Employee. While it is juvenile of the coach and players there is nothing wrong with it. They should be more professional though.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jaxi

    she isn't the one who was even raising the concern or claiming the harrassment. she found out about it the next morning by the NFL – so she is unfortanately being used as a scapegoat here – and she should demand the Media for WS drop this – as they are saying she was harrassed – but she didn't feel it or think she was. Their claim has no substance behind it. They were obvioulsy jokin around with the football throws.

    People get gawked and hooted an hollered at all the time – it's what might happen if you are a gorgeous woman and you are the only amongst a group of men! THis is unfair to the Jets.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. k

    Give me a break, just a girl trying to keep herself in the spotlight

    September 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe

    You know, whats the big deal. Seems like a pretty straight forward old school way to impress girls. Way better then beating the hell out of a senior citizen.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Area51

    NOtWanted, you've hit the nail square on the head. The issue is that someone was offended. That's what is taught in every workplace educational session on harassment. I would say it is a much more likely scenario that another hot female reporter (are there really ugly female reporters?)was offended because she wouldn't have wanted the attention, and would expect the team to treat her respectfully no matter what her job required her to wear (I'm sure the networks have something to say about how their female reporters dress) or go. The law is the law, harassment doesn't need to be reported by the target of a proposition or action. The guys were at work and we have decided as a society that the workplace is somewhere EVERYONE should feel free of harassment. Now speaking of the law and equality I bet that a male reporter will soon be suing for discrimination when he gets denied entry to a females' locker room and I hope that the courts rule in his favour.

    I a

    September 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SpaceMonkey

    after carefullly reading the story again... WHO THE HECK IS TV AZTECA? She (and TV Azteca) went from an unknown to know being in the major headlines! At first I thought she was like all HOT BLONDES.. just trying to get into the HIGHLY PAID PRO ATHLETE circle of friends... but now its paid off.. SHE'S MADE NATIONAL HEADLINES.. SHE HAS BEEN DISCOVERED!!

    September 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rich

    Let men into the womens locker room if women can go into the mens!

    September 13, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    This is a mens locker room right? What is she doing in there in the first place? As she said she was not offended but you know who was, the reporters not getting the attention she was. If she was not offended then how is it harassment?

    September 13, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
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