Sainz: Women set back by 50 years
The television reporter who said she was harassed while attending a New York Jets football practice expressed outrage Saturday with the women’s media group that filed a complaint on her behalf — and also said she was satisfied with the way the NFL handled the situation.
Ines Sainz, of Mexico’s TV Azteca, was at Jets practice last week to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez. She said a Jets assistant coach intentionally threw footballs in her direction at the practice and claimed that players made cat-calls at her in the locker room.
Following the incident, which she wrote on her Twitter account last week made her feel "very uncomfortable," the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) reportedly complained to the NFL over the Jets’ etiquette, dragging Sainz and the league into a media firestorm surrounding the allegations.
In a column written Saturday for El Universal newspaper in Mexico City, titled "My September 11th in New York," Sainz criticized the AWSM and the media at large and said her life had been "shaken by what happened."
"Today I wonder why a well respected association such as the AWSM, within its right to inform about any violations of work conditions for its members, acted so impulsively," she wrote.
"Considering that the AWSM was in fact worried about the event and about my integrity as a woman and newsperson, why did I never receive a call from them, and why were all these deeds denounced [by the AWSM] with such certainty?"
Sainz went on to speak out against how poorly the incident was covered by the media, expressing dismay that she would be blamed for what happened and saying the fracas set back the women’s rights movement by "at least 50 years."
"A group of news people and communicators, eager to make an even bigger scandal out of this situation, have moved women’s rights backwards at least 50 years," she wrote.
"I am surprised by how easily some colleagues skip the basic rules of journalism: one should investigate, inquire, and look at the facts before giving an opinion."
Sainz, did, however, express satisfaction with the NFL’s decision to implement an official training program for all 32 teams on proper conduct in the workplace.
"I am surprised by the readiness and professionalism the NFL acted with," Sainz wrote. "I feel happy that I wasn’t found responsible [by the league] for what happened."
In his ruling Friday, Goodell said members of the New York Jets acted unprofessionally but found no evidence that Sainz was ”bumped, touched, brushed against or otherwise subjected to any physical contact” by any player or coach.
”Sainz herself was unequivocal in saying both that no physical contact occurred, and that no player or other Jets staff member made any comment or gesture that could be construed as threatening, demeaning or offensive,” Goodell said.
Jets owner Woody Johnson will underwrite the new training program, Goodell said.