According to reports, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson publicly apologized to Ines Sainz for alleged harassment this morning.
The female television reporter of Mexico’s TV Azteca was supposedly taunted by the Jets players.
“I called her the minute I found out about it, and I finally spoke to her later on in the day,” Johnson said.
“We take this very, very seriously, as you can imagine. We want all of our reporters, female or male, to be comfortable whenever they are, on the sideline, in the locker room or at a game. We have to make the working environment professional representing the New York Jets as well.”
When asked to further discuss the details of the issue Johnson stated “Right now, we’re working with the league and we’re doing all the fact finding, checking the facts, doing the interviews…But after we get them all, I’ll let you know.”
Interviews with the players are scheduled to start Tuesday after the Jets kickoff the 2010 NFL season at home against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.
Sainz reportedly had footballs thrown her direction at the end of practice and players were sending out ‘catcalls’ inside the locker room.
In my opinion, this should be a no tolerance situation as reporters should be treated with the utmost respect.
According to the New York Post, Jets defensive backs coaching Dennis Thurman purposely overthrew balls to players during a drill so they would land near her on the sideline. Several players joined in the actions, and even head coach Rex Ryan participated.
Even more surprising is how members of the Jets public-relations staff witnessed the behavior yet did not discourage it.
If that’s the case, I definitely believe that some sort of disciplinary action should be taken.
“Of course you feel it when you are being stared at and when you are being spoken of in a certain way,” Sainz told the Associated Press on Monday. “I opted to ignore it. I tried to not even pay attention.”
She made further comments on her Twitter account expressing her embarrassment of the situation.
Interestingly, she later made the incident seem like it wasn’t a big deal. She stated that she was never aware of the reported misconduct in the locker room.
At no time I even felt offended, much less in risk, or in danger of being in that place,” she said.
Later today, Sainz said she received the apology.
“I don’t want to make it a bigger deal. I have confidence in the NFL and the Jets management and I know this will serve as a precedent so that this dos not happen to another woman.”
It has been noted that she was dressed inappropriately, which I feel was a poor decision on her part. She is a former Miss Universe contestant, and should realize her attraction of male attention.
Nonetheless, it’s the Jets’ responsibility to act professionally and refrain from such reported behavior. I firmly believe that she has every right to be in the locker room and fulfill her duties as a reporter.
I’m sure, as this story progresses that we’ll uncover more information. Until then, I’m hoping that nothing serious occurred and I give my best wishes out to Ines Sainz.
Information from an ESPN news report was used in this article.