My good friend Jim brought this story to my attention yesterday. I had already read all about it and had it on my radar when Jim inquired about my perspective on the issue.
If you aren't aware of the story here's the condensed version which reads like every other female sports reporter/locker room harassment scandal story in the past 20 years.
Mexican TV network, TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz was covering Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez in the Jets locker room over the weekend when some of the players began making inappropriate comments about her. So much so, that it prompted another reporter to walk over to her and apologize for the way she was being treated and still another reporter to report their behavior to the league. Prior to the locker room experience, the players had even been cat-calling out to her and threw footballs in her direction while on the practice field.
Why? Because Ines is smokin' hot and it's a fact that she uses her smokin' hotness to promote her career.
Yeah. So. What.
Does that mean she's asking for it? That she deserves it? Such questions lie at the center of this debate.
Does she act professionally when on the job? All accounts say yes. Ines has been reporting for TV Azteca for 9 years. She, herself stated that although embarrassed by the Jets actions, she didn't take it "to heart" and continued on with the job at hand. She, herself stated that she did NOT report the incident to the NFL, and that she never felt threatened. Sainz said today she did not hear exactly what was being said in the locker room. "I pretended not to notice," she told "Good Morning America." "I was focused on my job."
Sounds to me like she's been here before and sounds to me like she carried on just as she has in the past. Professionally. The problem for some is that Ines is waaaay to gorgeous and dressed waaay too "provocatively" for sports reporting. Who says? There can be no arguing that Ines is a sexy, gorgeous woman who dresses her part, promoting that sexy-ness. That's her "schtick", as they say. Her tight jeans, (which if you google image Ines Sainz, more than 15 pictures of her ass in tight jeans come up) are kind of like Harry Caray's glasses although Ines' jeans don't seem medically necessary. Minor point. The point here is that no matter what she looks like and no matter how she's dressed, she does not deserve to be treated with sexual harassment in the work place or any place else for that matter. And herein lies the "thin line which is hard to cross" in this debate. Ines claims "it's my style. all my life", and that she is not trying to provoke anything.
Here's what I think for whatever it's worth.
I don't think women reporters should be in the locker rooms. I don't think they belong there.
I know because I've been there and if the athletes act unprofessionally and with disrespect towards female reporters, it makes for a terrible working environment. Forget what being the subject of that can do to one's psyche. Sophomoric behavior will continue to take place if reporters continue to do business in the locker room, and female reporters will always be part of the press whether dressed provocatively or not.
Now, I'm not saying restrict females from the locker rooms. Not at all. I'm saying restrict all press from the locker rooms. There is no need for them to be in there anyway, and conduct business outside the locker room in a press room. This will in no way put an end to those who will continue to cat call and whistle when she is working, but it will put all reporters on even ground which means they will all be dressed and ready for the Q&A.
And don't blame Ines Sainz. "Sainz said she chooses clothing that she considers attractive. "All [women] like to be attractive," she said. "In Mexico, I'm very well known for my image and my work."