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. 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. Gmom123

    Cry me a river and get out of the locker room, Barbie.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. craig

    More importantly, why is a Mexican allowed access to an American Football lockerroom? Her English is pitiful and yet she complains – get a life a woman and get across the border while you are at it. If you don't mind, on your way back, would you pick up the 20,000,000 or so fellow countrymen along the way – thanks!

    Azteca – yeah that is a proud history lesson for which to name a radio station.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
    • johndemos

      WOW! ignorance is a bi-atch!

      September 14, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kelly

    I know it's politically correct to say that it doesn't matter what she was wearing, but I'm sorry – my mother always told me that if you dress like a you know what, you get treated like one. Her pants were painted on! She knew exactly what she was doing and really shouldn't have been surprised at the results.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Randy

    No woman should feel harassed at work, ever. That said, I think it's a little sick and twisted that any reporters (male or female) are in the locker room. Why can't interviews happen in areas where the players have clothes on? Is it so important that interviews happen immediately after a game? By the way, are male reporters allowed into female locker rooms? I don't follow the WNBA but I would like to know if reporters (male and female) do interviews when WNBA players are nude or dressing in the locker rooms.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. Randy

    No woman should ever feel harassed at work. That said, I don't understand why it is so important that reporters both male and female have to interview players in the locker room. By the way, do male reporters interview female athletes in their locker rooms? Do male reporters interview WNBA players in their locker rooms?

    September 14, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
    • ENF

      no but female athletes all come to the podium while male athletes tend to leave once they are done dressing. No locker room access to reports for people like you to obsess over.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tiffini S.

    A) Not that great looking. Bad skin, too much makeup, and really needs to re-think the hair color. B) She's in a MENS locker room. Some female reporters visit them all the time and they know the deal. Just because its her first pony ride, she freaks and it becomes news? C) Lawsuit, anyone?

    September 14, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. ivory

    Let's see... fake boobs, fake hair color, major makeup, skimpy clothes... how dare you football players cat call me? You should treat me like the lady I am... (cough, cough)

    September 14, 2010 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. ivory

    She's desperate for attention.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bigdoglover

    Funny seeing Joy Behar up in arms over this, pretty sure Joy Behar has not been "harrassed" since before electricity!

    September 14, 2010 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. THEY

    If she was flat @$$ a plank there would be no problme. Dont hate the some.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. THEY

    If she was flat @$$ a plank there would be nothing said! Dont hate the yourself some.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. OldGirl

    If you don't want to sell it, don't advertise it.

    She would have been MORE upset if they hadn't responded.
    Great publicity for her, though.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. Curt Sacramento, CA

    So as a guy, can I go into a women's locker to "report" what I see and hear?

    September 14, 2010 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. Donald in CA

    Its the news media and the womens groups who are trying to make a big deal out of the jet locker room incident. Even Ines said no big deal so whats the problem. Theres a group representing everyone now, dogs, cats midgets, gays, women, serial killers and whoever else now. The media jumps on it and turns it into a mess. Just look at this wacko preacher, palin, newt and the rest of the crazies out there dominating the news. Jobs, jobs, jobs remember.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Terry P

    She is flaunting her bid to make bucks. Any woman who mixes it up with sports professionals while wearing tight, exceptional fitting clothes and showing off her goodies to football players is asking for trouble. Lets face it, she is making money doing what she is doing and must accept the consequences when a jock with too much testosterone gets around a woman showing off her body.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
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