Sports Thread #1 For 9/15/10: The Best Take From That Whole Stupid Situation
Photo from Getty ImagesThe best perspective of the whole annoying and disturbing mess that is the Jets-Ines Sainz situation from the always astute (expect when talking about soccer of course) Jemele Hill:
But isn't it fair, too, to wonder whether Sainz's flirty, fluffy reporting style might blur the lines for the players? I have a hard time believing the Jets would treat USA Today columnist Christine Brennan, a pioneer for female sports journalists, the way they allegedly treated Sainz.
Probably somewhere today, a female reporter is getting harrassed by some immature, classless buffoon, as the struggle for respect for female reporters will always continue, especially those considered attractive. Even with the notorious Lisa Olsen incident reference by Hill in her column, idiots will still be idiots despite the changing times in the ultra-testosterone of male sports (specifically football).
But Sainz is a far different case from reputable journalists like Hill, Brennan, and Rachel Nichols :
I was disappointed that Brennan and the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) have rushed to support Sainz. Yes, their response brings attention to a serious issue, but sometimes the wrong person can undermine the right cause. I respect AWSM immensely and credit the organization for mentoring women like me and helping us understand how to navigate the male-dominated world of sports.Sainz's choice to touch players' biceps and have those same athletes pick her up is something that gives a bad look to diligent female journalists who would never conduct themselves like that.
But is Sainz the best candidate for martyrdom?
"You can't say if it's wrong for one person but it's right for the others," said Joanne Gerstner, a current AWSM board member and past president. "It's an attitude. We want to show we're watching. We demand to have courtesy, respect and professionalism in the locker room."
As someone who has covered sports for more than a decade, I demand those things, too. Should the NFL's investigation of the Jets show that Sainz was mistreated, the players and the team should be publicly reprimanded and fined.
I'm also pleased that members of AWSM will meet with the Jets to discuss how the team can maintain an environment that isn't threatening to women. I just hope the organization realizes the Jets aren't the only ones who need to be educated.
Having the Azteca flirtatious reporter be the modern day paradigm that Olsen's horrible situation was 20 years ago is certainly not ideal in the eyes of Hill.
She seems like a very nice, amicable person with a big heart. But hopefully she will take some lesson from this as well as the buffoons from the Jets who deserve all the blame.