The facts of the situation between reporter Ines Sainz and the New York Jets seem to be fairly straightforward. Sainz was covering a New York Jets practice and she was subjected to comments from players and coaches regarding her appearance. Since then, various members of the Jets have apologized and the league has reminded teams that female (and all other) reporters are to be treated with respect. Few, if any people, are defending the behavior the Jets. The general consensus in society is that people are never deserving of comments, gestures, or physical actions that are unwelcome, even if those people are dressed in a certain manner. In this situation, the challenge is how to move forward, and what teams should do when interacting with a reporter like Sainz, who perhaps does not meet the standard journalist profile. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts on Ines Sainz and the situation with the New York Jets.
Reputation and behavior
Sainz has been a reporter for a number of years, and she is a recognized member of the popular media. She is also known for her general appearance, which has been commented on via polls. In addition, Sainz’s personal website has been widely publicized after this incident, particularly since the site depicts her in a number of provocative outfits. She has been categorized in some media outlets as a “sexy” reporter. The question is, is she more concerned with the “sexy” part or the “reporter” part
This is who I am
After this incident occurred, Sainz appeared on a number of talk shows to describe her reaction. She stopped short of calling the behavior of the Jets “harassment,” perhaps because she knows that this word can have very strong implications in today’s society. Of course, she also noted that this is her style and she is not going to change. Sainz suggested that other people need to change. Again, the alleged behaviors exhibited by the Jets are not defensible. However, there is also the reality that some people (particularly men), struggle with sexual imagery. Therefore, it is difficult for an individual to dress in a certain way and then argue that people should not look at them.
Decades of workThe reactions of women journalists have been mixed regarding this issue. Some people and organizations have immediately scolded the Jets for their behavior, as well they should. However, reporters have been somewhat hesitant to give Sainz the complete benefit of the doubt. Women have worked extremely hard to be taken seriously in the world of journalism. They have undoubtedly experienced a number of unfair barriers along the way. Many women in the profession want to be seen as journalists, and not just “women” journalists. The behavior of Sainz, who many will argue is selling herself as a sex symbol, may represent a setback for those who have defined themselves as journalists by their research and writing, rather than their outfits.