Mexican television reporter Ines Sainz attended the New York Jets’ practice Saturday to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez. An assistant coach allegedly threw passes in Sainz’ direction to get players close to her. In the locker room, some players allegedly used inappropriate and disrespectful language to — or in reference to — Sainz. She tweeted that she was embarrassed, a few other members of the media reported the incidents in question and — boom — the story exploded.

Here’s the thing: this isn’t the first time a female reporter has been harassed in the locker room of a professional sports team. It also won’t be the last.

Whether we like it or not — and whether we like to admit it or not — we’re still racist and we’re still sexist. Not all of us, but there’s still a fraction of society that discriminates and there’s still a large fraction of men who cross the line when it comes to how to treat women in the workplace (or any place, for that matter).

Incidents like these are inevitable. Inexcusable, but inevitable. Female sports reporters know that they’re going to run the risk of facing humiliating moments when they get into the industry, and almost all of them end up encountering such moments. I know quite a few female media members who have been in Sainz’ shoes in one form or another.

That said, Ines Sainz is not a typical female reporter…

That’s a picture of Sainz at Super Bowl XLII … as the subject of an interview, not the interviewer.

That’s a shot of Sainz at Super Bowl XLIII, measuring biceps as part of a “strongest arm competition.” Hard-hitting stuff.

The whole “she had it coming” defence is archaic, isn’t it? Aren’t we past that? Shouldn’t men know better, regardless of how much a female is “asking for it”? So again, there’s no excuse for the alleged behaviour of certain members of the Jets.

But, c’mon?

Sainz doesn’t dress appropriately and, by all accounts, she playfully flirts with players. So let’s not hand these guys life sentences in the court of public opinion for playfully flirting back.

The nature of the comments made by the players in question isn’t clear. But if purposely overthrowing a few footballs to get players closer to a famously sexy TV personality with an amorous shtick is going too far, then maybe it’s a sign that the reporter herself should consider changing her goofy approach, buying a sweater and doing some real reporting.

This shouldn’t turn into a broad debate regarding the presence of female journalists in locker rooms. It’s funny: our great-grandparents would have scoffed at the notion of a woman in a man’s world. We’ve made a ton of progress since Lisa Olson was — as she put it — “mind raped” in the Patriots locker room 20 years ago.

But do the math. In testosterone-enriched pro sports locker rooms, where generally rich, spoiled, poorly-educated and misbehaved men drastically outnumber the women, we’re bound to have issues.

And although the men are at fault, problems like these would be limited if female reporters like Sainz avoided encouraging a frat-house atmosphere.

Comments (9)

  1. Very well said. Female reporters deserve the seem level of respect as men but sometimes we take these things too far. She dresses and acts inappropriately, and gets treated the same in turn. Putting her in an NFL locker room on skin tight revealing clothing is simply asking for trouble. We, as a society have mad a ton of progress, but boys, thankfully will always be boys.

  2. uhhh no…she had it coming.

  3. gotta give her credit…she looks like a WORLD CLASS HOOR!

  4. Huh? Your article is all over the place. You can’t say the guys are at fault and then blame the victim for “encouraging” their behaviour. Which one is it? Pick one. I noticed there’s a troubling reoccurring theme in every sport article written about this incident. They all seem to suggest the players can’t be at fault because they’re simply red-blooded, testosterone filled men who can’t control themselves in the presence of an attractive woman if she isn’t dressed up like a nun. So you see, this is why the players can’t be held accountable for their actions because Saiz was obviously asking for it, duh.

    You brought up Sainz attire, is she sexy? Yes, did she have a sign on her butt that said “I’m easy, you’re welcome”? I doubt it. Look, there are many other female reporters who dress “conservatively” and don’t have a “goofy” approach yet have still experienced the same thing as Sainz. Who’s to blame there? By the way didn’t know women weren’t allowed to have a “goofy” approach guess that’s a man thing reserved for guys like Cabbie. Women must be business all the time otherwise a slight smile or a hint of humour might be misconstrued as flirting? Jerk. And don’t even bother with that why- is-a-chick-in-the-locker-room argument that’s BS, when did the guys get modest all of a sudden? It’s just another lame excuse used to justify their actions.

    If we’re going to talk about female sports reporters “qualifications” let’s be honest here – you work in an industry where looks play a huge role in the hiring of female sports
    anchors. An unattractive female anchor who knows more about sports than an unattractive male anchor would never get hired. Sadly, this creates added pressure on new and current female sports reporters, not only are they unfairly judged on their sports knowledge but their also judged on their looks. They’ve gotta be hot but oh wait, not too hot or else she will encourage a frat house like behaviour (rolls eyes).

    • You’re right, Benson, it’s a tough issue to lean one way on completely, and I didn’t. My thoughts are that she has every right to be “goofy” and dress like she’s going to a nightclub, but she had better be prepared to face issues like these.

      I’m not telling her to change her shtick. I’m telling her that if she wants to avoid negative incidents like these, she should change her shtick. Those are two different things, obviously.

      And let me flip that whole attractiveness thing on you: How many female reporters only have their jobs because of their looks? The sports world has hundreds of talented and smart female journalists, but it also has hundreds of air-headed “hotties.”

      An attractive female anchor who knows slightly less about sports than an unattractive male anchor would get hired over the male anchor 90 percent of the time.

  5. Although I do understand that this type of behaviour is unacceptable no matter what the circumstance may be, it’s hard to place full blame on the athletes. Lets go 90%. If this reporter were to walk into just about anywhere wearing that type of outfit (the Mall, Church, Frathouse) the results would be the same… doesn’t mean it’s right, but what do you expect.
    On a seperate note, who thinks R.J Benson is an unattractive female anchor.

  6. That’s one hot piece of ass…and she knows it. C’mon she’s not a real reporter she’s eye candy with a mic. No one expects her to ask hard hitting questions. She’s just nice to look at until the game is back on. That may sound sexist, but I’m pretty sure she knows her position and she plays into it well. That’s not to say I don’t respect female reporters, I do, the ones who actually know what they’re talking about.

    As for the players, yeah it’s juvenile behaviour but its the same thing that happens on a construction site. A group of guys will always acknowledge a hot girl.

    Hey R.J Benson you sound fat, but you’re right! I do want to see a hot girl talk about sports, unless you haven’t notice the predominant viewers are MEN. Seems like you have some sort of personal grudge…maybe you should try getting into sports radio instead LOL.

  7. dress professionally – period!

  8. Ines Sainz – really ?- Before she walked into that locker room wearing world’s tighest pants and lowest top – Do you think she stopped and thought of the saying “Boys will be boys” – ??? One of the guys in that testosterone filled locker room was bound to say something – Come one now….!!!! I wonder if maybe the players feel as though she is harrassing them with those scandalous outfits.!? haha
    You look great and being a women is sports – BUCK up and get used to it girl…!!
    TIP OF THE DAY – Dont play with fire….!

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