TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz says she trusts the NFL and any decisions they might make in the sexual harassment investigation now pending against the New York Jets. Appearing on CBS’ “Early Show,” Ines Sainz attempted to set the record straight on what happened that day and what her role in the episode truly amounted to, which, according to her, was simply a reporter trying to do her job. She said she didn’t make the sexual harassment charge against the players and coaches of the New York Jets, but was cooperating with NFL officials with regard to the complaint filed on her behalf.
Sainz didn’t attempt to play down her sexuality in word or in dress when she appeared on “Early Show” Monday. Wearing a tight black blouse and leg-revealing short skirt, she made no apologies for the way she was dressed the day she interviewed Mark Sanchez, the day that now has become the focus of an NFL sexual harassment investigation due to the way Sainz was treated by members of the New York Jets team. She admitted that she dressed to be attractive, as a woman and as a professional reporter, but she also understood the atmosphere of locker rooms and the general way in which women in a locker room full of men can devolve into catcalls and sexual innuendo, as was alleged to have happened. But, she said, she tried to be the picture of professionalism, and women sports reporters who act professionally should be treated with respect.
According to the New York Post, Ines Sainz was in the New York Jets locker room after a practice session in Florham Park, N. J., when the incident(s) allegedly occurred. Not only did Sainz bear the brunt of some “embarrassing” remarks directed her way in the locker room, she endured a prior practice session where footballs were purposely (allegedly) overthrown by coach Rex Ryan and defensive coach Dennis Thurman to land in her vicinity during an open media session.
Sainz said she noticed that as soon as she entered the locker room, the men began talking about her and making jokes.
“I decided not to pay attention,” she said. “I was focusing on my interview so I go direct to the locker of room of Mr. Sanchez and I wait for him. But I believe that the rest of the media start to hear the different kind of things that I didn’t hear. And sometime in a minute, a colleague [said], ‘Come with me, and I’m so sorry…It’s terrible. I feel sorry for you.’ So I tried to say, ‘Don’t worry, I can handle the situation.’ And that’s it. And I don’t even try to pay attention.”
She added that she was “focused on her job” and did her best to “not to be feeling bad in this situation.”
But Ines Sainz told the “Early Show” that she didn’t “make the charge” against the Jets. She told the “Early Show” that she had been a sports reporter for nine years and done over 250 interviews and “never had any trouble like this.” She also noted that she believes most of what is happening is media-driven.
The current scandal seems to have come as a result of another reporter’s witnessing of the events in the New York Jets locker room. The Association for Women in Sports Media lodged a complaint with the National Football League and the New York Jets about the incident.
When asked about accusations that she was inappropriately dressed that day, accusations that may have stemmed from hundreds of revealing and sexy pictures of Ines Sainz easily found on the Internet, the reporter laughed. She said she dressed in her “style” and asked, considering her professional demeanor, should she have not been treated professionally as well?
In response to the accusations, Sainz posted a picture of herself on Twitter revealing what she wore that day — jeans and a white dress blouse. During the interview on the “Early Show,” a clip of Sainz interviewing Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was shown.
The NFL has decided to look into the matter. The New York Jets have also taken the allegations seriously. Jets spokesman Bruce Speight has noted, “We are working with that organization to schedule an educational and awareness session with the team.” He added that there would also be a team meeting to address the situation Monday.
Ines Sainz, besides being a veteran reporter for TV Azteca, was part of the 1997 Miss Universe Pageant, participating as Miss Spain. She is known as “the hottest reporter in Mexico” and is a pictured fixture on many “hottest” female sports reporters lists.
Sainz said she will be agreeable to whatever the NFL decides in the matter. “I really believe that they find that they need to punish someone, they are going to do it. And if they find if it’s not necessary, I really trust in what they say.”
She says she does not intend to pursue a course of legal action against the Jets.
Victims’ rights advocate and former prosecuting attorney Wendy Murphy told the “Early Show” that “if people around her saw it as sexual harassment, it could be actionable, even if she’s not quite clear if she wants to file a lawsuit yet.”
The New York Jets seem to have started the 2010 football season in a bad light. A rather unflattering look at the Jets appeared on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” recently. The Ines Sainz situation does not look to be going away anytime soon. And to add to their problems, the Jets lost their first game to the Baltimore Ravens.
“The Early Show,” CBS Television