SBD/Issue 2/Franchises

Sainz Says No Legal Action Coming After Jets Practice Situation

Sainz Not Looking To Label Her Treatment
In Jets Locker Room As Sexual Harassment

TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz has "no plans to pursue any legal action" against the Jets for possible sexual harassment following her appearance at the team's practice Saturday, but both the Jets and the NFL have "launched investigations into the players' and the coaches' actions," according to Peter Alexander of NBC News. Sainz said in a live studio interview this morning, "I don't hear anything that is in a sexual way. I'm not the one who say the charge or try to involve all of the team in this situation. What happened there is I obviously feel that the environment was uncomfortable because I know they are talking about me." Sainz said she does not want to label it sexual harassment, instead saying, "I prefer that the NFL make the judgment because they have all of the pieces together. They have my material, my videotapes, they have the material of the rest of the media. So I prefer that the NFL judge and decide if it is or not that kind of situation. ... They are very professional." The Association for Women in Sports Media prompted the investigation by the NFL, and Sainz said she would not have even reported the incident to the league if not for the AWSM. Sainz: "I don't even pay attention. I try to focus on my job. ... But the rest of the media hears the things that the boys (said) and they saw that the environment is very rude for a woman" ("Today," NBC, 9/14). ESPN Deportes' John Sutcliffe said Sainz told him Jets players and coaches "were throwing some passes where she was" at the team's practice, but she "never got threatened, she never got hit by any so she was even having fun with it." Sutcliffe: "I asked her, 'Did you ever feel harassed?' She said, 'No John, I was really surprised.' She did get a phone call from the owner of the Jets, Woody Johnson, saying that they were sorry" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/13). 

ADMITS TO FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE: In N.Y., Salazar, Hubbuch & Mangan report Sainz did admit that she "felt very uncomfortable" when Jets players "made salacious comments about her in their locker room after practice Saturday." Sainz: "I didn't want any part of it. I heard the noise. I knew they were talking about me. I was just focusing on my job and hoping that Mark Sanchez was coming soon so I could interview him." NFL security officials and Jets legal staff yesterday "interviewed reporters who witnessed" the incident, and the AWSM is "hosting an 'educational session' with the team in the next week because of the locker-room incident ... at the request of Jet brass" (N.Y. POST, 9/14). Sainz said, "I don't feel that they attacked me in a sexual way. I didn't feel danger in the locker room. Uncomfortable? Yes. But I didn't feel any danger or that at any minute it could be dangerous for me" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/14). She added, "I have confidence in the NFL and the Jets' management and I know that this will serve as a precedent so that this does not happen to another woman" (AP, 9/13).

Johnson (r) Says Team Taking Investigation
Seriously, Will Start To Interview Players Today

JETS TAKING COMPLAINT SERIOUSLY: Johnson said of the investigation, "We are taking it very seriously. We want to make sure all of our reporters are comfortable, in whatever environment they are in, whether it's on the field, in the locker room, wherever. So we're in the process with the NFL of investigating exactly what happened, when it happened and all that." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: "Everybody is taking this issue very seriously" (NEWSDAY.com, 9/13). Sainz said of the NFL, "I really believe that if they find that they need to punish someone, they are going to do it. If they find that it's not necessary, I really trust in what they say" ("The Early Show," CBS, 9/14). Johnson said interviews with Jets players will start today. Johnson: "We've talked to some of the non-players, but (Tuesday) we'll get into it all." He added of Sainz, "I called her the minute I found out about it, and I finally spoke to her later on in the day" (ESPNNEWYORK.com, 9/13). Sainz noted Johnson was "very concerned about the things that are happening with the team ... He told me that he can't allow that kind of thing to happen with his team" ("GMA," ABC, 9/14).

REX TO BLAME? In N.Y., William Rhoden writes Jets coach Rex Ryan's "carefully cultivated bravado crossed into unattractive frat-boy behavior that the organization had better put in check." The incident "underlines the imperative that women should be taken seriously -- in locker rooms and in male-dominated boardrooms." Ryan said yesterday, "We never want anyone around our team to be uncomfortable. We're cooperating with the NFL, but I really don't want to comment more than that on it" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/14). FANHOUSE.com's Kevin Blackistone wrote, "Some among us aren't taking seriously what Sainz ... said happened to her" because she is a former beauty pageant contestant and "allows her employer's Web site to post pictures of her in bikinis." Blackistone: "What happened to Sainz is bigger than her. What happened to Sainz is why the NFL in 1985 implemented a policy mandating that female journalists have the same access to players as male journalists" (FANHOUSE.com, 9/13).

MEDIA DROPS THE BALL: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes the story was "basically ignored" during Sunday's NFL pregame shows, and "if it was even reported during these runups to games it was done in a whisper we couldn't hear, with no strong opinions attached." The story was first reported by Pro Football Talk, but was "not even mentioned" during a segment on NBC's "Football Night in America" in which Bob Costas teased headlines from the website. The print media was "negligent here, too," as while the "alleged incidents were going down, no scribes inside the Jets locker room who witnessed them protested to team officials" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/14).

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