Sunday, September 12, 2010
Updated: September 13, 11:08 AM ET
Jets hear from NFL about behavior
ESPNNewYork.com news services
The NFL is looking into a complaint made by the Association for Women in Sports Media against the New York Jets after a TV reporter was subjected to footballs being thrown in her direction at practice and, later, players' catcalls inside the locker room.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league already has contacted the Jets.
The request by the women's media organization was made on behalf of Ines Sainz, who represents Mexico's TV Azteca and attended practice Saturday as a working member of the media. According to an account in the New York Post, Jets defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman purposely overthrew footballs to players during a drill for defensive backs so that the passes would land near Sainz on the sideline.
Linebacker Jason Taylor, who is not part of Thurman's unit, volunteered to take part in the drills, the Post said. Jets coach Rex Ryan also got involved, according to the Post, when he had Thurman run a pattern near the sideline and intentionally overthrew the coach in Sainz's direction.
Afterward in the Jets locker room, Sainz was greeted by catcalls and hooting. When a reporter approached Sainz to see if she was OK, lineman Kris Jenkins yelled, "This is our locker room!"
Members of the Jets public-relations staff were present and did not discourage the behavior.
"The New York Jets believe that reporters have a job to do and it is our obligation to provide them with proper and professional access," the Jets said in a statement issued Sunday. "[Owner] Woody Johnson spoke with Ines Sainz of TV Azteca today to discuss the time she spent covering the team yesterday. He stressed to Ines that he expects all members of the Jets organization to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.
"We will continue to work with the league to gather the facts and take any appropriate steps necessary to maintain a respectful environment for the media."
Sainz discussed the experience on her Twitter account.
"I die of embarrassment!" Sainz wrote in Spanish. "I am in the locker room of the Jets waiting for Mark Sanchez while trying not to look to anywhere!"
In a later Twitter post, she wrote, "Thanks all for your support and concern. I already testified before the NFL, and now is up to them to decide whether or not there will be consequences!"
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum called Joanne Gerstner, a board member of the Association for Women in Sports Media, on Sunday to discuss the matter. The two organizations were working to schedule an educational and awareness session with the team, according to Jets spokesman Bruce Speight.
Speight added that he also addressed the situation at the team meeting Sunday in advance of New York's season opener against Baltimore on Monday night at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
The AWSM said in a statement Sunday night that both the NFL and the Jets were "responsive to our concerns" and that it would continue to monitor the situation.
"We are awaiting the results of the investigation," the statement read, "and further action from the NFL and Jets."
ESPNNewYork.com reporter/columnist Jane McManus and The Associated Press contributed to this report.