Reporter Ines Sainz Criticizes AWSM

reporter-ines-sainz-criticizes-awsmInes Sainz, the television reporter who last week ignited a debate over athletes’ treatment of female journalists, has come out strongly against a group that tried to defend her.

Ines Sainz wrote in a column for Mexican newspaper El Universal that the Association for Women in Sports Media set the women’s rights movement back “at least 50 years” by hastily coming to her aid. Sainz had complained to the NFL that members of the New York Jets harassed her during a practice and a locker-room interview with quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Ines Sainz, one of Mexico’s top sports TV personalities, also claimed the AWSM never contacted her to get her side of the story. “I really feel very disappointed because I really think that the first step they needed to do is to call me,” Sainz told McClatchy Newspapers in a subsequent interview. “They only want some kind of attention.”

AWSM president Amy Moritz, a reporter for The Buffalo News, told McClatchy in an e-mail that the association made “numerous” attempts to reach Sainz but never received a response.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday ruled the Jets acted unprofessionally but noted no physical contact or threatening behavior took place. Goodell also reaffirmed a 25-year-old policy of equal access for female journalists, and announced a program to train all players on how to properly interact with them. Jets owner Woody Johnson will underwrite the program.

Ines Sainz expressed satisfaction with the way Goodell and Johnson handled the matter.

During last week’s media firestorm, Sainz — a former model and Miss Universe contestant — was criticized for her often revealing attire. The 33-year-old married mother of three offered no apologies during her interview with McClatchy, saying she chooses her clothes.

“I was really surprised when they start to criticize me and my image and everything, and I said, ’C’mon, it’s not the first time you’ve seen an attractive woman doing her job,’” she said.

Ines Sainz also said her visit inside the Jets’ locker room was only her fourth such trip to conduct an interview. “It’s not my favorite place,” she said. “It’s a private place. … Believe me, I don’t want to go back.” She said she would prefer that interviews be conducted in “mixed zone” areas outside locker rooms.

— Reported by Sporting News.