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. Dean

    Remind me please, why is Joy Behar on TV?

    September 14, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. MXD

    Spanish (Spanish, Mexican, PR, etc) are SOOO s##xy, they might not even be aware of it. I MIGHT give her that. But the truth is this woman is completely used to this kind of attention from men. In fact, she'd probably be upset if she DIDN'T get flirted with \ commented on. But that will never happen – because us men can't resist a woman this hot. It's just nature. And the ugly woman reporter who escalated this into a story is probably just a jealous h@g.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • johndemos

      She is Mexican... the article is wrong. The miss Spain they are talking about is another Ines Sainz.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Carmelle

    Gawd, another dingbat...to the Sarah Palin line. Next story!

    September 14, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. Evan

    I refuse to believe this lovely young reporter is going legal on the NFL. She has way too much class to reduce a few hoots and hollars into dollars and cents. As some said the other reporters are just jealous and turning a few flirtations into a media circus.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Spendlove

    Some football players whistled at this chick and now she needs an apology. LOL

    September 14, 2010 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. JustSurfing

    Why the hell was she in a guys' locker room ...? Couldn't she wait for them to come out and then interview ...? Geez...! Looking for some free publicity Ms. Inez ...? She want's men and women to be treated the same – ok sure, let guys interview women in their locker rooms. lol

    September 14, 2010 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Awesome_Opossum

    The Jets are g-g-g-g-garbage! She went to interview one of the most overrated QB's in the NFL and got harassed. Welcome to New York I guess. Hahah. 2-14 season coming your way.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mee

    If she really wants to avoid situations like this I'd suggest several changes:

    1. Don't hang out in lockerrooms full of naked, childish steroid-filled Neanderthals.

    2. Breast reduction surgery

    3. Gain 50 pounds.

    C'mon. We went through this garbage so many times over the years. If women don't want to embarrassed in lockerooms, don't go in. There is NO reason at all that reporters (male or female) should ever be in a lockeroom. It's a problem with a simple solution. Stay out. If the roles were reversed would there be a story? Can I get a job doing interviews in women's sports lockerooms? I'll vote for beach volleyball. I didn't think so...

    September 14, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dana

    Women have no business being in a men's locker room. If they want to be a sports reporter, and have to interview in the locker room, they should interview women athletes. Or are women athletes not good enough for them to write about?

    September 14, 2010 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    She's getting cat called as she's talking in this interview

    September 14, 2010 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. DreadedGonzo

    she's a total babe though. wouldn't you.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dr. Zaius

    She's so hot, Qurans just spontaneously combust around her....still I'm SO relieved that she has accepted the Jet Owner's apology. Our long national nightmare is finally over. Thanks again CNN for delivering such vital news in such a timely manner. Now if you could just do something about Joy Behar's hideous face...

    September 14, 2010 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. dx

    I LOVE how rude Joy is to her. Women cannot stand it when there is a better looking woman getting attention because of their looks.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Carmelle

    Another dingbat...to the Sarah Palin line. Next story!

    September 14, 2010 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Michelle

    I love all of you people saying stay out of the locker room – she didn't care about the comments so why should she have to quit her job. Someone else had the issue not her and maybe they should stay out of the locker room. She is a good looking woman in a mans sport – she has dealt with that why can't other people.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
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