NFL: The Jets Showed "Unprofessional Conduct" in Sainz Case

As a result of the incident, the league will implement a training program for all 32 teams on proper conduct

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz measures Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Steve Breaston's bicep during the team's media day for Super Bowl XLIII Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. The Cardinals will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL Super Bowl football game on Sunday, Feb. 1.

    The NFL says that while there was "unprofessional conduct," New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and his staff acted promptly to correct the situation that arose last weekend when a TV Azteca reporter said she felt uncomfortable in the team's locker room.

    Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday that as a result of the incident, the league will implement a training program for all 32 teams on proper conduct in the workplace and that the program would be underwritten by Johnson.

    The NFL came to its conclusion after interviewing 17 people who were present when the incident occurred involving reporter Ines Sainz, who works for the Mexican network. Sainz was among those interviewed.

    In a letter to Johnson, Goodell said that while "there seems little doubt that passes were thrown in Sainz's direction at last Saturday's practice, it is also clear that she was never 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," he said.

    Sainz said on her Twitter account last Saturday that she felt "very uncomfortable!" in the Jets' locker room, where a few players made catcalls as she waited with two male co-workers to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is of Mexican descent.

    "Of course you feel it when you are being stared at and when you are being spoken of in a certain way," Sainz told The Associated Press. "I opted to ignore it ... I tried to not even pay attention."

    She tweeted in Spanish on Saturday night that she tried "not to look anywhere!!"

    Goodell said Sainz explained that her postings on Twitter while in the locker room reflected her "general lack of comfort in that setting, and were not related to any specific act, comment or gesture directed to her by any member of the Jets organization."

    He said she also told the NFL she had not seen or heard any catcalls, sexually explicit or offensive comments or gestures directed at her, "and did not believe she was subjected to any improper conduct."

    Goodell's letter said Sainz "did not believe that the activity in the locker room interfered with her ability to do her job (namely, obtaining an interview with Sanchez), and did not identify any member of the Jets organization who did anything that was in her view improper. That being noted, Sainz did state that the locker room environment 'could have been better.'"

    Johnson, the Jet owner, said the team had "learned from what happened last Saturday, and have reaffirmed our commitment to treat all members of the media with professionalism and respect.

    "The commissioner has developed a constructive approach that emphasizes education and awareness," he said. "I believe what emerges will improve the working relationship between all media and the NFL."