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. rick

    Just the freaking media making something...out of nothing... It doesn't sound like she was harrassed... but perhaps a few Jets did act like jerks... so whats new? Idiotic in my opinion. If she brushed it off, end of story. But no...

    September 13, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    An attractive woman in a mens locker room after a football game – why would anyone expect a different outcome?

    September 13, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John in Lafayette

    Personally I think the woman is gorgeous! Yes, she does have a booty that would make even J Lo envious! But I agree with some of the previous comments. It is inappropriate to harass anyone, whether it offends the person intended or anyone within ear shot. I also agree that if she doesn't want to hear it, then she does need to stay out of the locker room. But like I said she IS breathtakingly beautiful and am sure that she is quite used to hearing uneducated comments from men!

    September 13, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • troy

      Way to have an opinion. Looks like you covered just about every possible perspective on this one.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. athlete

    doesn't anyone realize what a locker room is for? women don't belong in the locker room. the locker room is where men go to shower, and then take part in various competions, such as jousting and helicopter fights. should a woman decide to be present, then she is doing so at her own risk. men can not be held responsible for the actions that take place in a locker room. when a woman enters a room full of naked/half naked guys, not only is it encouraged, but it is expected to make a scene and "harrass" said woman. a locker room is not a workplace, but a safe haven for men after a long and grueling practice.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sad

    I would throw some balls her way as well.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BD Saint

    This is surprising how? Women shouldn't be allowed in the lockerroom. If it's an equality issue then you either make all reporters stay out or you start letting men in the women's lockerroom. But that would mean someone has to be interested to start.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. christine

    Ya Da, Ya Da, Ya Da!!!

    September 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GP

    Take a look of this pics on her facebook.
    So sad for other women.
    Please don't fall for this BS

    September 13, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GP

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/INES-SAINZ/124270740944073?v=photos&ref=search

    September 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JB

    Im sorry-but if you watch the interview s she did with that "hair flip and a turn" smile and the way shes dressed she should be prepared to get this.
    And there is no way woman should be allowed in a locker room. Why? Conduct the interview after. men arent allowed in womans locker rooms to my knowledge.
    She looks like a bimbo who was obviously enjoying the attention.

    As for teh Jets-they are clowns. Lets see how "prepared" tehy are tonite.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. uhmmm no

    This was the same chick last year who was chasing Tom Brady around in a wedding dress.... what a loser looking for some ait time.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dan

    Alert the Media (wait somneone already has) There are professional athletes and coaching staff flirting with women. Footballs were thrown in her general direction during football practice, and men in a PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAMS locker room whistled when she walked in. Jesus. Thats like being shocked at water being wet. They act a certain way...deal with it.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Get Real

    when you dress to seduce especially with a body like hers, there's no doubt she was baiting these men for a response. Let's face it, she was in a high testosterone area and got exactly what she wanted.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joe

    Really ALL reporters should be banned from locker rooms. Women have no business in a men's locker room, and vice-versa. The problem is the "harassment" crap... so just ban them all.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bob

    Can't waite for the end of football season, so there is something else on TV!

    September 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
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