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. common sense

    Um...this is why women dressed liked whoooooooores should not be in men's locker rooms. Durrrrrrrr...

    September 14, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. POD

    Well the 'Jerks' lost at home to the Ravens last night .......so all the BS Jets Hype Machines should come to a grinding halt

    September 14, 2010 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    If she wasn't hot she wouldn't have that job in the first place.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. ceg

    Why didn't she just walk in nude! Look at the way shw was dresses. She couldn't get her jeans any tighter and that skimpy shirt...HELLO she isn't that dumb...is she??? Walking into a locker room with football guys showering undressing give me a break. Do we really think nothing will be said. Does she expect a real interview in there? Give me a break I'M NOT THAT STUPID. look at the way shes dress after that. in her black 'whatever' her boobs are almost poping out then. Oh sure she doesn't want to be noticed. JUST HOW MANY OFFERS DO YOU THINK SHE WILL GET AFTER THIS STUPID THING GOT INTO THE PRESS. SHE'LL MAKE OUT LIKE AND BANK ROBBER...LOL

    September 14, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Steve Jackson

    I think This women needs to get a life
    If you can't take the men saying things get out of your job and stay home.I for one do not see why any Guy IN there right mind would want to be any place she is.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. Claudio

    Time to let the Men into the ladies' locker room!!

    September 14, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. 71Bacon

    Why is this news? LOOK at her stature and how she presents herself. How can she present herself like that and find fault with the response from football players? Her looks would evoke the same response from executives if she was handing out attendance awards at the corporate dinner, if only a bit more muted.

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

    She is perfection....and I want to be her photographer/helper/gopher. GOOGLE HER.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Imam Ralph

    She's cute, but grown men should be able to control themselves better.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Champ

    For some reason I find Latin women react differently when it comes to men goofing around. Although the players and the coach’s behavior were unacceptable, but we all can understand why it happened, the woman is simply stunningly beautiful. Had she been a black or a white woman, it would definitely take another turn. Immediately after her interview with the Jets, there would be a press conference with the media and her attorney would be present and asking for millions of dollars instead of an apology. I hope Ms. Ines gets a lot of publicity for this unfortunate event and makes a lot of money, that way it has more class.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ed

    Any women, be they a reporter or not, does not belong in a male locker room. Also any man does not belong in a female locker room. When you cross that line you have to expect "locker room" behavior. The concept that everyone has to be 'politically correct' even in a locker room is much more then should be expected. If it requires all reporters being banned form locker rooms to be "fair", then indeed just ban all of them. If jocks can't be jocks in their own locker room, it is time to make it off limits.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jason

    She's hot, I wonder if male reporters are allowed in Maria Sharapova's locker room when she is getting out of the shower. If so, I am so changing jobs.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. David

    Look how she dressed. She wanted that attention. Women should not interveiw the men in the lockerrooms. If they do, and they dress like she did, then they should expect some attention.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ethan

    So, let me get this straight: A scantlily-clad female reporter goes into an NFL lockerroom, and some of the guys have a private conversation where they say inappropriate things out of her earshot. Another reporter eavesdrops and tells the scantily clad one. And now, it's national news. The Jets are the bad guys, and their owner has to apologize publicly. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Political correctness continues to drive the culture of victimhood to new lows.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. Silly Female P-vert

    Female sports reporters (and other female staff) who demand the "right" to go in men's locker rooms are perverts. They believe their "right" to a job trumps any man's right to personal privacy and dignity. People like to respond, "Men reporters can go in females' locker rooms." Have you ever heard of this actually happening with the same level of open access that females have? I have not. Even state universities that are supposed to follow the law have different access rules for female reporters in men's locker rooms than men reporters in females' locker rooms. People also like to say they are just doing a job. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of videos on the Internet of real female reporters in men's locker rooms where you can see that the reporter's eyes are NOT on the man's face. Of course, the other point is that if "just doing a job" justifies this invasion of privacy, all locker rooms should be open to staff of both genders.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
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