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. Stewie

    Exactly what was the harrassment? Throwing footballs near her? Please, there are so many other issues in the world to report other than making these kind of PC no-news articles.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JoePacker

    You people are talking like you even know what she wore during the interview. The picture posted is from 2007! Think before you post!

    September 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Big T

    Just another example of red blooded American boyz acting like red blooded American boyz. She is hot.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Zane

    Now men can't even be men in the locker room? Give me a break!

    When female reporters are given access to locker rooms, they should expect some "inappropriate behavior."

    But I might be a bit biased because, as a male reporter, I'm still not allowed in the women's bikini volleyball locker rooms.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MXD

    Don't you LOVE the official BS – they're going to make the team take an educational class?? To learn WHAT?? Is ANYONE fooled by this kind of charade?? What a joke our society has become.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. quemadorose

    People need to get a life. If she had no complaints, then there is no issue. Some people must not have much of a life if they have to look to find something to complain about in another persons life.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. serialmom

    One thing that I think many of you critics are forgetting, is that it is most likely a man that hired her for her position. It is also not unlikely that her wardrobe is not comprised of the stuff hanging in her own closet. The men hire the beautiful women to attract men during slow game times on t.v. The women are attractive, so it is more likely that they will be flirted with. What is wrong with millionaires that are being paid to practice showing some professionalism? And hooting when you walk into a room to do your job is unnerving and offensive. I listened on the radio to some guy waxing nostalgic about being a teen reporter for an old newspaper. It was so homey and dreamy, until he talked about the teenage copy girls getting hooted at the entire time they were trying to do their job in the copy room. Thank you Adults.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOTX

      Lets do a role reversal, would you feel the same way if women were doing this to a male reporter? I doubt it, because it's different when you're a guy right? Please, this is ridiculous, I don' t blame the reporter at alll, I blame people like you who think this is actually harassment..btw is a male reporter allowed in a women's locker room?

      September 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stewie

    Are you being harrassed if you don't hear it or can't understand it?

    I doctor said the nurse laughed when I got a hernia exam.....I need to file a harrassment suit!!

    September 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. steeve-o

    See if they were playing the Patriots, Belichick would've had the whole thing on video, and perhaps they could've been exonerated.
    Ha Ha ain't that a b!tch!

    September 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gain of Salt

    Good luck to her in trying to get access to teams in the future. Why would any team want that distraction around, especially if there is potential trouble there? And how in the world is this harassment if the person harassed did not notice it!!! She needs to cut this off, or it will spell the end of her sports career.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Terps6

    Who are you talking to Tony? I dont get the "fat dude" comment...are you saying only fat guys expect their wives to cook while they fart? Thats a skill if there ever was one!

    September 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MXD

    Completely agree with Terps6, and many others. Boys will be boys, the woman evidently didn't mind the playful flirting, and, of course, some guys are gonna make side comments that she wasn't supposed to hear. HellOOO – that's what us guys DO! Someone should expose the self-important busy-body who raised this as a harassment issue – he \ she deserves to be humiliated.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mslman71

    She wants a response (per her dress) but wants to dictate the terms of the response. Typical. It's harassment with Joe Duphus hits on her, but welcomed when some hot rich guy does it, though both do so for the same reasons. It's a difficult balancing act to get just what you want, but not too much. It was stupid of them to give her a hard time, BUT, what would also be interesting is to see how she responded. If she was a flirt and laughed with them, then it probably didn't help the situation.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Otis

    OK, so this attractive but appropriately dressed reporter wearing a business suit with appropriate business make-up walks onto the field and an assistant coach throws footballs toward her (as I'm sure you male readers and I have done many times with a ball/frisbie); and then takes her embodiement of professional journalism into the interview room to speak with Sanchez ... or, did a super-hot babe wiggle onto the field and then go into a locker room filled with naked, high testosterone young men? NFL should keep ALL rep[orters, male and female, off the practice field and out of the locker room. Sounds like a rehash of that Boston female reorter who walked into the shower room supposedly to get interviews and then was paid-off by the Patriots and NFL for being herassed while many of the players were the ones who were embarrassed.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. elr

    It's got nothing to do with her being attractive or even beautiful. It's got to do with her level of professionalism, which you can plainly see in the picture posted with this story. Granted, it's from 2007, but if she's still presenting herself as pictured, I have NO sympathy for her whatsoever (and I am a woman). Come on, pigtails & a pushup bra AND her press credentials? REAL women have worked too hard for too long to have a bimbo like this play the harrassment card (Did you read between the lines? "I didn't realize I had a lawsuit until other people told me I was being harrassed!"). I'll bet the groupies that hang around these guys dress a notch or two classier than this.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
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