Only Two Things - The Female Sports Scribe's Plight

It's the water cooler topic du jour" ...and a great subject for today's show.

It's being called the "Ines Sainz situation" by some, Ines Sainz being the little known NFL sideline reporter who's found herself at the center of a Media Maelstrom after an incident on Saturday involving several NY Jets, a pair of skin-tight jeans, and some stereotypically boorish behavior.

The basic situation not new: a female sports journalist is subjected to lewd/lascivious/demeaning remarks by the players she's covering. It can happen on the field or in the locker room, and there are myriad variations, but what often follows is scrutiny and criticism of the reporter herself. And that certainly happened this time around.

However, the Ines Sainz story is not quite as formulaic as it initially seemed. This particular version of the "Female Sports Scribe's Plight" appears to have as much to do with the issues sports media is trying to work out with itself... as it does with any one journalist's brush with locker room lasciviousness.

From watching several of the Sainz interviews yesterday I was left with distinct impression that this incident may well not have ever even come to light had other journalists not gotten involved.

As Ms. Sainz tells it, she was doing her job on Saturday, without much regard for the player's loutish behavior. She admits to being aware of the catcalls, whistling and remarks... and realizing they were being directed at her.... but maintains that she had tuned them out and was going on with her business, waiting to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez, when a fellow reporter approached her and "apologized" for the frat-boy behavior that was being directed at her, insisting it was "unacceptable" and "not OK". Only then did the incident become an issue.

From what I understand, it was at that point that Sainz tweeted that she was “dying of embarrassment” and "averting her eyes" while waiting for Sanchez to arrive. Apparently he did and the actual interview went off without a hitch, because the reporter then tweeted "mission accomplished great interview"

Then a bit later she tweeted, "some media people are saying I was dressed inappropriately for the Jets locker room". She included a photo of the outfit she was wearing... and it was glaringly easy to see why traditional sports journalists might call it inappropriate.

Ultimately, what struck me was that Ines Sainz seemed more uncomfortable with the reactions of some of her fellow journalists ... and some of those fellow journalists seemed more uncomfortable with her particular style... than anyone really was with the sophomoric antics of a couple of NY Jets.

Once again it brings to light the fact that the very nature of sports media has changed... drastically... and many in the business, as well as many fans, are currently grappling with those changes.

In today's environment athletes and sports teams... not to mention their sponsors... want/need to get maximum exposure and to that end, award press credentials to a wide variety of media outlets

To me, this case is a picture perfect example of "INFOtainment" bumping up against "traditional journalism".

They're two very different forms of media... with different standards of dress and behavior... that suddenly find themselves sharing the same space. Nowadays they routinely vye for the same interviews and compete for the same eyeballs. Tensions and resentments are inevitable. I believe that's precisely what happened here.

As far as Ines Sainez is concerned, within 24 hours reports of the incident in the locker room had found their way to the The Association for Women in Sports Media... presumably communicated by a concerned fellow journalist... and on Sunday morning Sainez received a personal apology from the owner of the New York Jets. She thanked him and has spent most of the past 48 hours on news and entertainment shows confirming that she's "put the whole thing behind her".

The NFL, for their part, has launched an investigation into the reports of inappropriate behavior and the incident has become a referendum on issues like: "what is appropriate attire for a female sports reporter" and should journalists (male and female) be allowed in sports locker rooms at all". Some of the opinions and observations that have been voiced contain elements that are a tad bit disturbing, such as bombastic, blowhard Rush Limbaugh's use of the words "Bubblicious" "Bootylicious" to describe Ms. Sainz, and the Washington Redskins' Clinton Portis' rambling statements about how ..."You know, somebody got to spark her interest, or she's going to want somebody. I don't know what kind of woman won't, if you get to go and look at 53 men's ..."

So there's our topic, the so-called "Ines Sainz situation"

It's a big one... with lots of moving parts and I'd love to hear what you think about it. We'll be discussing it tonight from 9:30 - 10:30PM ET on "Only Two Things". You can weigh in on-air by using call-in number 917-889-9592. Or join the conversation in the chat room or on Twitter... or just listen in at Blog Talk Radio Talk to you tonight.


  1. Im amazed at how much buzz the story is generating and I agreee that it seems like a big part of it is the sports media asking itself "where do we go from here?" Old-style sports coverage won't cut it anymore, but where do they draw the line when they have reporters in the locker rooms? It'll be interesting to see what kind of repercussions this incident has, if any, in the longer term.

  2. When stories like this are all over the headlines I often think, "Thank goodness this is the concern of the world today rather than some horrific act."

    Guys shouldn't be pigs, but I think Ms. Sainz seems like she knows how to handle these players. I also think too much attention is being placed on what she wears. While I might not choose some of the outfits for myself, I didn't find them vulgar or anything.

  3. .

    anyone who thinks what she wore wasn't supposed to be provocative is missing the whole point

    here is someone who wanted to somehow call attention to herself - mexican TV covering American football ? - this is precisely why women cannot be taken seriously when they pull "stunts" like this

    i can say that because i have seen some of her TV "coverage" and she will never be mistaken for a serious reporter

    now lara croft, now there is a REAL woman - what's that ? she's not real ?

    alright, i get it, she is using her 15 minutes to find herself, a possible make a future for herself in a "crowded" industry, okay good for her, and let's all wish her the best

    now, can we get that preacher who wanted to burn korans, back on the screen ?

    anyway have a good show patricia


  4. Yep, and Patrica has it exactly right it's "INFOtainment" vs traditional jouranalism.

    Frank you say - "this is precisely why women cannot be taken seriously when they pull "stunts" like this" but Ines Sainz was not looking to be "taken seriously" she was looking to produce as entertaining a segment as possible for her employer/audience. I agree with Patricia that she would probably have just ignored the catcalls and leering. It was others who brought it up.

  5. Jennifer Worth9/15/2010 4:56 PM

    I'm sure there are plenty of male journalists who would gladly play up their sexuality if it got them good interviews and better access.

  6. I don't think Ines has issues with the player's behavior. It's something she expects because of the kind of entertainment she provides and she can brush of with confidence. It was only once she saw that other journalists weren't OK with it... and especialy when they suggested maybe her outfit/style had invited it that she became uncomfortable.

    I'm thinking of how the other female journalists must have felt the ones who were less pretty or even just dressed in less sexy. If they were trying to get a job done and trying to appear serious (as maybe their publication wanted them to) their work would have been put in jeopardy by all the distraction caused by the sexy girl. Plus guy journalists were probably angry that Ines was getting the best interviews. :\

  7. Boys will be boys as the saying goes but anyway it dosnt look like the Jets are ready to do much to the Patriots.

  8. They should probably consider having two media days one for the serious traditional journalists and another for ... everyone else. At the serious one the players must behave with decorum and at the other one the players can just be themselves. It would be up to the journalists to decide which one they wanted to go to. It would be interesting to see who ended up where. O_o

  9. I absolutely hate it when Men try to protect me from being objectified. I'm in real estate sales and the men who are so concerned about other men objectifying me are often the ones who are competing for their business. Call me cynical but I sense a lack of sincerity. As far as I'm concerned guys should mind their own business let US worry about being objectified.

  10. Let me first admit that I had to Google Ines Sainz as I had no idea who she was prior to this story.

    With that being said, I may hold the unpopular opinion that if you play with fire, you get burned. Sainz and her producers are not dumb; sex sells. Are we to be upset that men in an NFL locker room also understand this?

  11. .

    as Leno mentioned last night - the JETS have trouble SCORING on, and apparently off, the field

    ftliquordale SOFLA

  12. .


    i agree, i don't think she meant to be taken seriously, BUT she puts all other sportswomen in jeopardy of being taken as "jokes" as well IMHO

    i hope she succeeds in her aspitrations, i really do, it just puts other women, including those who want to be taken seriously, on the same level as her - no ?

    just like if a lawyer is convicted of stealing from a client, isn't that bad news for ALL lawyers, to potentially be looked at, by the public at large, as crooks ?

    sometimes women know exactly what they are doing, and sometimes they get more attention than they bargained for, and either result can result in something good or bad depending on one's agenda

    i'm just saying she was up to something and i really hope it worked out how she wanted it to

    she did show, at least a bit, of hesitation on how to handle the situation, which may be an immaturity on her part, which is why i would give her the benefit of the doubt

    she'll learn soon enough

    they all do

    ftliquordale S O F L A

  13. Look, it's not right to harass anyone but dont dress in a low cut cleavage revealing top and not expect something to be said by football players. Again is it right?....no. Do we live in the real world? Sex sells and sexy women sells even more. So I don't really feel sorry for anyone here.

  14. all i can say is this: i would love to tickle her delicate puffy ring with my slippery slider... yahoo!!!!

  15. To the GolfGrowl/Frank discussion. I'm just not sure the "serious female journalists" should be Ines Sainzs' responsibility.

    Ines Sainz is (from what I understand) a non-practicing attorney,
    who directs and hosts Deportips, a sports/entertainment show she produces with her husband. It's a kind of pop-culture sports show and she's been doing it for several years... apparently in much the same type of clothing she wore to the Jets practice on Saturday... and has been very successful at it. (At least as successful as the serious ones have)

    I'm quite sure she almost always gets a similar type of reception from players as the one she got from the Jets, and I'm quite sure she's fine with it. I DON'T think it was as "demeaning" as some are making it sound and it's part of the kind of entertainment she produces.

    The event on Saturday was a "media day", I'd venture to guess she rarely does media days and doesn't often find herself in a group situation side-by-side with other journalists. This, to my mind, was where the problems started.

    I feel that 100% of the hesitancy/discomfort Ines felt was from the other journalists... and the fact that she saw them (men & women) getting upset. Hence the hesitancy on her part...

    I'm thinking that from now on she'll simply avoid "media day" type events. Particularly if they take place in the US where the culture is arguably more conservative and definitely more litigious than elsewhere.

    As I've said, ultimately this seems to me to be the perfect example of traditional journalism bumping up against entertainment journalism. And the organizations that award media credentials are the ones who have the final word on who attends various events and what kind of standards (dress/behavior) are acceptable.

  16. .


    she is no un-skilled innocent novice, for sure, so that is why i think another agenda was being pursued (and not that any real harm was ever intended, of course)

    it's just let's not forget those women without the same "resources" who are pursuing this reporting stuff seriously, and would rather be know for their "written articles" than their "articles of clothes" (or lack thereof)

    women learn how to manipulate situations and sometimes they just get more than they bargained for or was initially intended, which is what i think is the case here

    i DO credit her for getting out in front it the very next day and facing the early-morning TV inquiries - before the story got a life of its own or out-of-control - and handling those inquiries very well IMHO

    anyway be well

    ft lauderdale FLA

  17. I'm sorry, but you cannot "dress like a whore and then be upset when someone calls you a whore"! She was dressed inappropriately for her job. Or was it a skilled manuever to advance her career? I have no problem with nice looking female sports reporters who know their stuff. I do not however, respect the ones who try to use their looks and sexuality to get jobs/interviews they don't deserve. You can be "hot" and still have class. She unfortunately has neither.

  18. .

    dear JULIE,

    apparently you don't know the real story of LADY GODIVA

    anyway be well

    ftlauderdale, FLA

  19. .


    i guess you don't remember the story of LADY GODIVA



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