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. Justin

    PUBLICITY STUNT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Danny T

    I just looked her up online and have decided that she has no buisness being in a NFl locker room. What do you expect to happen when you put a ridiculously attractive woman in a locker room of all places. The jeans she was wearing couldnt have been any thighter.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Uncle C

    This issue is not about how men see woman, the Jets or even football.
    Its all about the media types hyping information.
    Media creators such as this are frustrated Politicians who abuse freedom of speak.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nikki

      I could not agree with you more. I have good friends on the JETS and I have no idea why this has been turned into such a big deal.

      September 13, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JacksMama

    Perhaps she should use the attention she has drawn to weigh in on real news, like the starving children begging in the streets of her own country, or the genocide in Burma that won't get covered unless Branjolina adopt one of their orphans....

    September 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christie

      Don't try to take football season from me - you save the world crazy. I bet you've never volunteered time or donated money in your life.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sark76

    If you can't take the heat...stay out of the kitchen. Doesn't look like she spends much time in the Kitchen anyways.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tony

    The comments here show the reading level of American footballl fans.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. WVLady47

    Look at how she is dressed! She dresses like a street walker and she doesn't want anybody to say anything to her? She knew exactly what she was doing! The Jets should not have to defend themselves. When you dress like a street walker, lewd comments are to be expected and she would probably be hurt if she didn't get any! Just another foreigner looking for a quick buck!

    September 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ScorpioChick

    This chick SO needs to get over herself.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Christie

    How is this harassment??!! Seems to me like she wanted people to look at her - especially if she was dressed this past weekend in similar attire to the picture they posted.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sharon

    Was she wearing something similar to what's show in the photo–with boobs and shoulders showing?
    If so, she's the idiot. Female reporters in the US generally dress in a professional manner. Bare shoulders and a deep neckline are NOT PROFESSIONAL!

    September 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kathleen

    Oh, PLEASE.....I am sure if Mark Sanchez asked her out she would GO! Give me a break honey......I foresee her getting an offer for Playboy any day now! She gives us hard working women a bad name.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    Since the Patriots got stripped of a draft pick for video gate, I am thinking that if found guilty the Jets should lose a draft pick.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mSmhS

    And she wanted to interview male football players in the locker room for what reason? Give me a break with this women's lib b.s. No woman belongs in a men's locker room. I don't care how smart or how knowledgeable or how pretty she is - she don't belong there. As for the NFL calling her, they ought to be more concerned with what their players do off the field and in the community instead of what they have to say to a female in their locker room after a game.
    This whole country has become so politically correct that it's ridiculous and it's the downfall of society.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Derek

    So a really hot woman walks into the locker room of one of the most testosterone filled environments known to man, and someone's surprised that she got some guys hollering at her and playfully throwing footballs her way? Do the people who brought up this accusation live on this planet?

    September 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Paul H.

    Unreal. But hey this story generated a lot more comments than the "real" news. Wow!

    September 13, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
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