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. GmanfromVA


    September 14, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. John

    There is certainly some shared blame here. Did you see the way she was dressed? Certainly not like a professional reporter. She had skin tight thin jeans crawling up her back end. How about some professionalism on both sides...

    September 14, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    Glad she wasn't the one who complained initially but she is dressed completely inappropriately for a professional journalist. Why doesn't the media comment on that as well as some of the Jets player's inappropriate comments. What do you expect with skin tight jeans up her back end?

    September 14, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Scott

    Trollop reporter gets hoots and hollers from players, which, if dressed like the photo above, were well-deserved.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. I_Hustle

    So get out of the effin MEN'S locker room. It's where MEN shower and change after a game. It's ridiculous that they let women in and then freak out if they hear or see something inappropriate. I would say I'd take a job interviewing female athletes but most of them look like dudes anyway.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Garrett

    Dress like a're gonna' be treated like a tramp!

    September 14, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Otis

    Saw her interviewed on some morning talk show today?!! She is SUPER-HOT!! Any normal male would want her in the shower, never mind locker room. Seriously... NO ONE, male or female should be in a locker room except players. The players’ right to privacy should trump media access.

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

    Gotta love the "she was asking for it" excuses being offered here. And people wonder why this country is so messed up. This woman was doing her JOB, and nothing she did, or wore, or said gives anyone the right to harass her.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Funny

    This is funny considering the coaches probably order out for blondes and redheads when a game is won.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sara

    I don't think I wanna know where the obese comments came from, but I think it's bull. The twig flips her wig because a few balls land near her when she's AT practice...and then about HER being in THEIR locker room when they'd just finished and were showering..... That's just major bs.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michelle

    Women should not be allowed in a mans locker room, how many "men" reporters are allowed in women's locker rooms??????

    September 14, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. SantiagoDraco

    Another example of sensationalist journalism at it's best.

    Joy Behard and all the rest are idiots. This wasn't harassment. Frankly the Jets should be charging HER with harassment. If I'm naked in a locker room and a hot chick in tight pants walks in I'm probably going to have a hard time ignoring it, especially with a lot of other guys around.

    But in this case it's not her or the Jets who need their heads examined, it's the press who are making more out of this than they should.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. Karen-LA

    Ladies – I am appalled over most of your comments.

    Apparently I have to say it again.

    I am a professional. If you want to be treated professionally, act and look like it.

    I wear suits to work and clothes like her at a disco.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. No Standards

    Not that I'm condoning the Jets behavior because I hate all of them, except one, because I went to high school with him, but I'm just curious has there every been a locker room interview after a WNBA game? I know it's the WNBA and I couldn't tell you anything about it's All-Stars or who won it or if it's still going on, but reporters, male and female are in the locker room for, MLB, NHL, NFL, and NBA. Plus, we've all seen footage of players acting inappropriately with male reporters in the locker room too. It's not because of the gender, it's because of the role of the reporter. Get the story, get anger on video or paper. Anger and stupidity make for great stories.
    Would the WNBA allow reporters, male or female, into the locker room?

    September 14, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. sam

    Let me see if I understand this correctly – some guys were throwing footballs so they would land close to a good looking woman so they could get a better look? And then they hooted and hollered when she entered the MEN'S LOCKER ROOM? She didn't hear anything derogatory with her own ears and wasn't offended, but now they have to apologize?? OK men, let's all just turn in our nutz right now and quit being men altogether. Can't even look at a good looking woman anymore,wearing what she was wearing in the photos above, which scream "Look at me!!!". Dam, what has happened to us?!

    September 14, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
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