As long as female reporters continue to patrol the sidelines, practice fields, and locker rooms of the NFL, there will be incidents of alleged sexual harassment in professional football. Such was the case this week with TV Azteca’s reporter Ines Sainz and the New York Jets (Sainz pictures ). This is not to say that women reporters don’t belong in the NFL, or that they should be harassed in any manner. It shouldn’t matter if a reporter is attractive or dresses sexily (or, in the case of Sainz, provocatively), an organization like the Jets is always expected to behave with a certain level of professionalism.
Having said that, the incident with Sainz, which included inappropriate remarks by Jets players, isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last of its kind in the NFL. However, let’s give kudos to Jets owner Woody Johnson for issuing Sainz an apology in person; kudos too to the NFL for their willingness to investigate the issue.
The question that remains then is how much will the incident with Sainz affect the Jets’ quest for a Super Bowl this season? The answer is, it won’t. The fact of the matter is the Jets have bigger problems than this overly publicized, alleged sexual harassment incident. For the Jets to succeed this season, they will have to overcome the following more substantial obstacles.
Mark Sanchez’s Development at Quarterback
Sanchez, the Jets’ prized second-year quarterback, certainly enjoyed an outstanding rookie season last year. Despite a slow start, Sanchez was able to guide the Jets into the playoffs. This season, Sanchez needs to make the type of improvement that the Falcons’ Matt Ryan was able to make as a second-year quarterback last season. If Monday’s season opener, in which Sanchez threw for only 74 yards, is any indication, then Sanchez still has a long way to go in his development.
New England and Indianapolis
Even if Sanchez is able to improve his play, the Jets still have to get past the Patriots and the Colts to be able to advance in the AFC playoffs this season. The Patriots look to be Super Bowl-bound after dismantling the Bengals in the season opener. As for the Colts, despite their loss to Houston, the team still has Peyton Manning at the helm. Manning’s passing and leadership were the reasons that the Jets were sent packing from the playoffs last season.
Darrelle Revis and a Commitment to Winning
To say that New York could have handled Revis’ holdout better this year is an understatement. The Jets need Revis’ abilities as a shutdown corner. They also needed him in camp this season to show the organization’s commitment to winning. They failed to do that. Now they have ground to make up as an organization. Perhaps as a follow up to the apology he gave Sainz, Woody Johnson needs to issue an apology to Jets fans for the way the team handled Revis this pre-season. Maybe then the fans and the team can be sold on the organization’s commitment to winning this year.