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. truthfulster

    If good looking women don't like the cat calls in MENS LOCKING ROOMS then send in the likes of Joy Behar and they won't hear a peep!

    September 14, 2010 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dr. E

    Where is John Stossel when you need him??? GIVE ME A BREAK... putting her in a locker room full of naked men is like throwing raw meat in a lion's cage and then scolding the big cat when it eats it. A woman that looks like that should not be in a locker room... unless she's looking for trouble.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sevoruco

    Women are not allow to enter men bathrooms,the same way they should not be allow to enter men locker rooms .Men are not allow to enter women locker rooms why should women enter a men locker rooms,where men are taking a bath,changing ,or just walking naked. Everything have its place is a disrespect by her to enter a men locker room , if she needed an interview she should conducted it anywhere but a men locker room.She was provoking an issue to be in the news and probably sue.In private property the owner canmake the rules according to safety issues.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. drcid777

    Lawyer Gloria Allred is off her game. She was probably on her way to stop this apology acceptance and initiate a lawsuit. Too late

    September 14, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nikki

    I am confused as to how "throwing balls near her on the field" leads to harassment?! What was said to her in the locker room? What were the exact words? I am so disgusted at this article I don't even know what to say. I do not believe that just because she wore something fitted that she deserves to be spoken to disrespectfully but my argument deals more with where the proof lies. If this is not the biggest example of media over exaggeration I don't know what is. If you want to cry harassment state what happened show the proof. All I see here are a bunch of random acts that do not seem to add up to the big deal that everyone is making.

    I also don't understand how she seems to be slowly changing her story. Earlier it was "Nothing happened everyone was joking" to "No woman deserves to be disrepec

    September 14, 2010 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Keep_It_Realer

    Would a male reporter be allowed in a female locker room? Women need to stay out of the mens locker room.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rock God

    HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WOMAN'S BOOTY????

    September 14, 2010 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. raul

    We need a gay reporter to go in the locker room and start checking things out... what you expect when u have a room full of men.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jed

    This wouldn't have happened if she had been home, like the Bible says she should be, taking care of her husband. Cooking, cleaning, etc.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. arthur

    She shouldn't have been in the mens locker room in the first place, they couldv'e called the player out for the interview. She said she didn't provoke it, just being the only woman in a locker room full of men with the way she dresses was enough.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Isabel

    This comment goes to Mrs Joy Behar. Apparently this lady tried in her interview to Miss Sainz to found her guilty for being hot. I did not like the way she addressed the question just because Miss Sainz is hot. So what if she is? It's not important, and not because she is or not hot. These proffesional players should behave in a proffesional manner. Her question was questionable. If Mrs Behar thought that because she is hot and dresses perhaps provocative, them she should expect these disgusting behavior? WRONG Mrs Behar. She is doing a job. The players are not in High School. So, your questions wheter she called herself or the media that she is the hottest reporter in Mexico, does not gave them the right to harrased her.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Conner D.

    What do you expect to happen when you send a woman with a butt that nations would go to war over into a locker room full of half naked, testosterone riddled men? Just search for images of her and you'll see what I mean.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. DJ McFly

    ANOTHER AFFIRNATIVE ACTION LOUD MOUTH Looking For A Big Payoff. No Broads In The Locker Room, Period.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. RicG

    Equality With Sanity!!! It was only a matter of time before there was a major incident with women in men's lockeroom or a man in a women's lockeroom! We go too far with equality, we forget about "Common Sense"!!! Why can't a woman reporter wait outside a locker room or the teams should have a separate area for all reporters to interview players, both after the game and after SHOWERS!!! Satan always finds ways to confuse us! Biological respnses are natural, and she didn't even raise a flag until she was told she should be offended! I guest we'll have co-ed showers next and expect there not to be a problem eventually... some things should be separate and equal!

    September 14, 2010 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. D.G.

    She was wearing tight jeans and a white blouse.....are NFL players that mentally challenged? They really cant control their actions? Pathetic.
    If I made innappropriate remarks to my coworker then I would be fired. These players should apologize publicly and with their daughters/sisters/mothers next to them.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
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