|Catcalls in the locker room: the Jets were wrong, but so is Sainz|
|Written by Emily Warner, Daily Vidette Sports Columnist|
|Thursday, 16 September 2010 21:54|
Twenty years ago this week, Lisa Olson, a then-sports reporter for the Boston Herald, entered the New England Patriots’ locker room, seeking an interview with cornerback Maurice Hurst.
What Olson received instead was not the typical, “Hey baby,” that she said she learned was “just part of the job,” but instead at least three football players stood naked in front of her while making vulgar gestures and taunting her.
Having not learned about this incident until this week, I am fully disgusted by it.
Timely for the 20 year anniversary of Olson’s incident, Azteca TV reporter Ines Sainz has been swooped up in a sexual harassment investigation involving things that were said to her while she was in the New York Jets’ locker room this past Saturday.
Reports say that Sainz received catcalls and yells as she entered the locker room to get an interview with Mark Sanchez.
While this is a scenario that once again deals with a woman being sexually harassed in an NFL locker room, this is not something that I am up in arms about.
An obvious thought would be that as a female sports reporter myself, if I can’t relate I can at least feel empathy for Sainz or anger that this profession I’m pursuing is still discriminatory towards females even with over 1,000 women in the country who cover sports.
However, I do not consider Sainz to be a professional.
One might be wondering, “Who is Emily Warner to call this professional sports journalist not a professional?”
Well, I’m someone who believes that I take my job more seriously than she does.
If I were to go to the Super Bowl to interview professional football players, I would research like I’m trying to win a Pulitzer Prize, so when it came time for me to interview a player I would be on top of my game.
What did Sainz make sure she did before the Super Bowl in 2009? Pack a tape measure.
This “professional” conducted a “strongest man” competition by measuring the circumference of players’ arms. She needs to figure out if she is a serious sports journalist or a serious joke. I’m leaning towards the latter.
Along with the competition, Sainz conducted it while wearing jeans and a low cut, black spaghetti strap tank top. Yikes.
I would never dream of wearing something like that, regardless of the temperature. A modest dress would have been appropriate and much more comfortable than a suit.
Those who have played devil’s advocate in this situation involving Sainz have often brought up the reporter’s dress.
After looking at various pictures of her game-day outfits, I’d say the most appalling fall somewhere between her tight jeans and spaghetti strap shirts and her short black dress paired with knee-high black boots. Classy.
Sainz said on “Good Morning America,” “It’s my style…It’s my style for all my life.”
Well that’s great. My style is sweatpants and a t-shirt from when I was in high school, but I’m not about to show up to sit on press row at an ISU women’s basketball game wearing a “Class of 2008” shirt and oversized sweatpants.
I’m surprised it only took the catcalls for Sainz to feel uncomfortable; it would only take her attire to make me feel out of place.
There is absolutely no justification for the players and coaches of the Jets’ organization. Their actions are inexcusable, and I completely support them being reprimanded and fined if that’s what happens.
Although I will argue that Sainz’s attire ruined her chance of being taken seriously, it’s then on the coaches and players to remember that they are in a professional environment, even in a sports locker room.
Even though women reporters are allowed in the locker room, they have a certain attitude; a man cave of sorts where players tell “mama jokes” like in Remember the Titans.
Worth noting is that Sainz was not the one to even start an uproar about the sexual harassment in the locker room, it was other members of the media who noticed what was going on and decided that it was worth mentioning.
Was Ines Sainz punished for being good looking? No. Take sportscaster Erin Andrews for example. She is good looking but obviously far more professional. Andrews dresses sexy when it calls for it, such as when she was on Dancing with the Stars or for award shows, but otherwise she dresses in a more professional manner.
I feel like it’s people like Sainz who make Andrews’ job, my job and other female sports journalists’ jobs harder. I’ve been fortunate to only have positive experiences at my home that is ISU, but I know not every team will treat me as nicely as the ISU teams do here. I also know that not every team is going to be like the Jets.
There have been many before myself, such as Olson, who have been trailblazers in our field and for that I am grateful. But with people like Sainz calling themselves journalists, it only starts to erase the tracks the trailblazers have laid out for those who aspire to be serious sports journalists like me.