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. Dave

    What a silly little girl. What did she expect going into a locker room filled with naked, over testosteroned men? She is about as retarded as those journalists in Iran wondering why they got arrested or the kidnapped mercenaries in Iraq, both expecting us to foot the bill for their rescue. As far as I am concerned, these people made a choice and have to deal with the consequences of their actions. It was their choice to put themselves in these situations and they were all paid handsomely for it no doubt. They all get what they deserve imo. Women should be BANNED from entering an NFL locker room anyway. This girl needs to grow up. She's a silly, stupid little girl.

    September 14, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. David scholotto

    OK TO ALL AMERICANS, PLEASE READ THIS, I AM 100% MEXICAN AND I AM BLONDE WITH BLUE EYES, THATS BECAUSE OF MY EUROPEAN HERITAGE, SPANISH AND FRENCH, THATS WHY THIS REPORTER INES SAINZ LOOKS WHITE TOO, MEXICAN IS NOT A RACEEEEE.... REMEMBER THE USA IS NOT THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE AMERICAS WITH WHITE PEOPLE, I AM 100 EUROPEAN CAUCASIAN AND I AM VERY PROUD OF BEING MEXICAN!!! LESSON LEARNED AMERICANS

    September 14, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ferris

    Are you kidding me? This lady is in a male locker room and doesnt expect a few catcalls? Shes from MEXICO ur tellin me back home she gets no harassment from mexican sports players? This seems like a grab for attention and possibly money.

    September 14, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. Maggie

    Can we say "Gold Digger"? Or, perhaps, "Husband Shopping"? Regardless of whether or not she instigated the complaint, or someone else did, there's an old saying, "Dress for the job you WANT – not the job you HAVE". She obviously listened to that...

    September 14, 2010 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Name*Yuri1

    If she wanted to be taken seriously, she should have dressed seriously. What an idiot'

    September 14, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tommy

    Let’s see, you get into the Beauty pageant to get attention and to be rewarded for having a great looking body and you don’t expect a few guys here or there to notice it and say something, come on. Are you kidding us all or did you plan it that way.

    Knowing full well being seen around the planet you could use that exposure to make such wild claims for pure profit (possible fake claim of harassment). I think you are a user and waiting to make your next free dollar, beauty by butt, you’re an opportunist waiting to happen and the Jets were just the start of your little adventure of money grabbing.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • johndemos

      she never really was in a beauty contest, CNN got it wrong... that is another Ines Sainz... this one was born in Mexico and has been in journalism her whole life...

      September 14, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • ENF

      JOHNEMOS is correct. That inez was from Spain. Just like it was a different Inez that "proposed" to Tom Brady at the super bowl.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kym

    Male athletes have a right to privacy; female reporters should be blocked. We don't allow male reporters in the female lockerroom do we? So stay out and you won't be embarrassed.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. txrj

    Why are women allowed in men's locker rooms in the first place? When was the last time we saw a male reporter in a woman's locker room? Thinking we all need equality is just pushed the envelope too far, we it is not equality that some of these reporters are actually after. If you dress respectful, you will receive respect. It is that simple.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. WHAT?

    BY THE WAY HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THE CLOTHES THAT SHE WEARS. I KNOW THAT SHE IS PROUD OF THOSE BREAST BUT DOES SHE NEED FOR THE WORLD TO SEE THEM?

    September 14, 2010 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. FL Gulf Coast Resident

    A woman walks into a football team locker room dressed like a $100 ho and sporting large plasto-bagos and draws the attention of half naked neanderthals. Hilarious.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. jlk

    So CNN are you going to go around and do reports on every female that gets cat calls on the streets of every city of America and every country in the world. Seriously this is only "news" because of what happened to Erin Andrews. Give it a rest. Maybe only guys should be allowed in a MENS locker room.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. Heather

    I'm reading a lot of very ignorant responses here. First, the picture is not of what she was wearing during the interview, watch the video to see that. With the exception of having her jacket zipped down too low, she was dressed appropriately. And just because she is a woman, and may or may not have been dressed provocatively, does not give the players or management the right to harass her. Looking is one thing, but making obscene comments and noises is over the line and not the example professionals should be setting for their fans.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. iPwn

    Wake up lady, the only reason you got this job is because of your looks.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. Franklin

    She dresses like that in a room full of football players and you expect me to feel bad for her? She dressed up in a skimpy wedding dress last year and asked Tom Brady to marry her too. She is a disgrace to a profession that doesn't have much respect left.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • johndemos

      that was another hot mexican reporter, not this one... get ur facts together!

      September 14, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. Chuck

    If you saw her outfit this morning on the Today show, I wonder who actually put her microphone in place without touching her areola. He outfits are befitting a typical pole dancer. How come NO men are permitted in the female locker rooms in full view of the showers. I think it is discrimination against male reporters. Time to protest that men aren't getting their fair share of flesh flashes.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
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