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. stalegreen

    So she had no idea she was being harassed until someone told her? Sounds like this is a total non-issue and something the tabloids are blowing up... now the NFL has to cover for itself and it gets into mainstream news and becomes a huge deal. Media at it's finest.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Brian James

    Members of the media invented news out of harmless flirting? Shocking! /s

    September 13, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. Wilt

    OH NO! Guys like pretty girls??? What have we become.....oh what have we become....

    September 13, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. mb

    what do you expect when the owner's name is woody johnson?

    September 13, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. Pete

    what an idiot, your a cheerleader for goodness sakes, of course guys are going to hoot and holler, its what we do!!!

    September 13, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. db

    She should be treated with respect, period. If she wants to be taken seriously, she should dress professionally. I googled her pictures. She dresses to provoke the response that she got. Perhaps that's why she didn't "notice" the harrassment.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • SILVIA

      If we watch the sports on Azteca t.v. even the reporters there are always saying innapropiate comments to the girls there.. and the girls there dress very unprofessional.. even if you dress casual.. be professional..

      September 13, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Theo

    THIS IS THE SAME WOMAN THAT HAD A SEE THRU SHIRT ON AT A LAKER GAME... SHE WANTS ATTENTION.. REMEMBER THE PICTURE ABOVE??? WELL THAT'S DURING THE SUPER BOWL WHERE SHE WAS WEARING A WEDDING DRESS TO PROPOSE TO TOM BRADY.. WHAT A FREAK

    September 13, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      That was Ines Gomez not Ines Sainz

      September 13, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • sheishot

      deffinately the same girl who wore the wedding dress.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nora

      Tat was Ines Gomez Mont, not Ines Sainz, and besides Ines Gomez Mont is a brunnette!!!!!

      September 13, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bill

    She should find a new job.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. NOLAJ820

    have ya'll even read the article? ya'll are bashing this woman, she is not the one who filed the complaint. She did not know anything about it until the NFL called her. It was the other reporters who filed the complaint...
    I dont care if she walked in that locker room in a bikini that does not give them the right to disrespect her.
    For the men posting the absolute idiotic things think what if this was your daughter, sister, mother, wife, girlfriend?

    September 13, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      My wife and daughters are too smart and godly to dress like that in public. My wife saves her great looks for me, not putting them on display like a foolish woman.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rock God

      Rick, you must be a Muslim.

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

    “I wasn’t offended.”, “to be quite honest, it didn’t bother me…", Why are they making a victim out of this woman?? Does that sound like someone who felt harrassed?

    September 13, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. Marti

    First off boys will be boys.....and second .... if a woman is going to have a job like that Im sure she's used to the comments and actions of men. Goes with the territory. If she is upset about it, then maybe she should go into another occupation...

    September 13, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. Guy

    On HLN this morning, Rafer questioned her integrity by claiming she is the reporter who proposed to Brady at the Superbowl. That was Ines Gomez not Ines Sainz. Better start getting the apology ready.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Phil

    New Rule: no women in locker room. Problem solved.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • John Holmes

      Simple and problem solved!!!

      September 13, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sula

    Folks, lesson here is that the person who is being harassed doesn't have to be the one offended or the one to report the incident for there to be an investigation. Most harassment policies and, in fact state and local laws, don't state that the person has to be personally offended for it to be against policy or law. It looks like someone else in her presence reported it and now we'll see what the investigation discovers.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. MARKPAIN

    Some of you posters seem to be addicted to whining. Does anyone remember Coach Sam Wyche being fined for not allowing female reporters into the locker room after games? It`s her job to be there but I don`t think any reporters should be there MALE or FEMALE period.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Sillyness

      Exactly! Thank you. I can't see any reason in the world why reporters need to be in the locker room. Wait until the players are dressed and then interview them. If someone knows of a reason why reporters need to be in locker rooms, can you please fill me in? I'm a big sports fan and have never been able to understand this. After the Oscars, reporters don't file into Tom Hanks' dressing room and try to get an interview while he's wrapped in a towel.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
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