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. Troy

    Ines Sainz or any woman for that matter has no business being in a mens locker room. You just asking for trouble!

    September 13, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brandon

    a gorgeous woman gets ogled in a locker room... big surprise. There is a reason she has that job... and there is a reason she is dressed like that, and its not for her amazing reporting abilities. Be real with the world, and take the good w/ the bad.

    September 13, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. berg

    Come on, That's the reaction she expects. If she wasn't hot she wouldn't have the job. She knows that, we know that, my dog knows that.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smog

      And my cat knows it as well!

      September 13, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The Hypocrisy

    She is Mexican, right? Has anyone traveled to Mexico, South America, or Europe? Women there are treated like crap...a beautiful woman like that would be catcalled and Harassed a thousand times worse in her home country than going into a Football locker room. She didnt notice it because she is used to it – unfortunate as it may be...the culture she grew up in – is much more agressive....listen to her Soccer Comments...She has been in Maxim...I see her on Dancing with the Stars next.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarahjacobs

      Latin men are gentleman! Not only are they drop dead gorgeous and know how to dance, but they treat women like queens. It is American men who call their girls Ho-e`s and treat them like garbage... get your facts straight!

      September 14, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. berg

    Did someone pitch a tent?

    September 13, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Beerman

    Yep, I expected there would be at least one person here who decided to blame the victim. Not surprising that it isn't just one person, but dozens. This kind of behavior toward women shouldn't be tolerated.

    What really strikes me as tasteless, the idea that she had it coming because she was attractive. Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kirk

    seriously? Isn't think a little like inviting Keith Richards to your bachelor party, and then being upset that he had too much to drink and smoke? Yes, it was wrong for players to harass her, but an extremely attractive latina walks into a NFL locker room? It's like being offended by someone swearing at a golf course.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Smog

    In ONE day, she went from no one, to a sxy symbol, higher paid reporter, who will end up with a much better gig. All because of a bunch of flirty dudes responding to her sxy outfit. Who ever said women are not empowered – needs to follow this story.

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

    I expect nothing less from the overpaid, steroid addled thugs.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. newmexicanLA

    Why is CNN so fascinated with bedwetters and whiners? I thought the N in CNN was for "News"

    September 13, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cul8rv8

    Dave Chappelle hit's it on the head with his uniform bit. "Just because I'm dressed this way does not make me a police officer..."

    September 13, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Beerman

    I expected at least one person to blame the victim. What I saw though, was dozens of people. That kind of behavior is revolting.

    What really gets me is the cliche rhetoric: She deserved it for being attractive.

    Wow. Do you actually like this about yourselves? Have you ever heard of self respect and dignity? Are those foreign concepts to you?

    September 13, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Beerman

    I expected at least one person to blame the victim. What I saw though, was dozens of people. That kind of behavior shouldn't be tolerated..

    What really gets me is the cliche rhetoric: She was attractive and so it's her fault they treated her like a piece of meat?

    Wow. Do you actually like this about yourselves? Blame the victim, its easier than self control and personal accountability.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nora

    I wonder why is it that most women posting here are so outraged by the way she was dressed? Since when is a crime to wear a pair of jeans and a white buttoned shirt???? She happens to have a nice body, get over it!!!

    September 13, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John@Modesto

    Joy Behar is a joke. She should listen to her interview, and if she did so objectively, as a true journalist/news reporter would, she should cringe. In her intro she uses the words "alleged" repeatedly and appropriately, given that Ines has never suggested she was harassed (this has all come from an unidentified colleague who suggested Ines was the subject of some attention), but her very first question to Ines is "What sorts of bad behavior and comments were you subjected to?" which is assumptive and not in parallel with "alleged". And the second question?? "Were you encouraged to call yourself the hottest reporter in Mexico?" Joy Behar, journalism at it's highest and best...ugh...

    September 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
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