The NFL is looking into whether New York Jets players harassed Ines Sainz, a female reporter from a Mexican television network, during a practice on Saturday.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said on Sunday that the league was aware of the reports that the TV Azteca reporter may have been singled out by Jets players and possibly coach Rex Ryan. While the facts are still being gathered, the leading advocacy group for female reporters, the Association of Women in Sports Media, has agreed to hold an education seminar for Jets players and staff in the coming days.
The quick action comes after The New York Post reported that Sainz received catcalls in the locker room and when another reporter asked if she was OK, lineman Kris Jenkins said, “This is our locker room!”
“The Jets and our office began looking into it as soon as we learned of it last night,” Aiello said in an e-mail. “That process is ongoing.”
Before the alleged locker room incident, the Post also reported that Ryan had his defensive backs intentionally run drills so they could “accidentally” run into Sainz.
In a statement, Jets spokesman Bruce Speight said team owner Woody Johnson has spoken with Sainz about what occurred on Saturday.
“He stressed to Ines that he expects all members of the Jets organization to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times,” Speight said. “We will continue to work with the league to gather the facts and take any appropriate steps necessary to maintain a respectful environment for the media.”
Representatives for the Association of Women in Sports Media (AWSM) reached out to the NFL after reports first surfaced about the incident, according to outgoing AWSM president Jenni Carlson. “We treat every situation like this seriously,” Carlson told FanHouse.
The organization announced Sunday night that it accepted an invitation to meet with Jets players and staff extended up by general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
“AWSM will be holding an educational session for the New York Jets sometime this week or early next,” AWSM said in a statement. “AWSM welcomes this opportunity to share our message of advocacy for women in sports media to be treated with respect and professionalism. We also welcome further dialogue with the Jets organization.”
Sainz said in Spanish on Twitter that she was appropriately dressed.
“I died of discomfort,” Sainz added on Twitter. “I am in the Jets locker room waiting for Mark Sanchez and trying to look what was going on at my sides.”
Sainz said she’d like to return to the locker room at a later point in the season, but “there are too much masculine hormones” in the room.
Messages left with TV Azteca were not immediately returned.
Information from A.J. Perez (NFL Fanhouse).