Ines Sainz and the Jets: Hey Baby, Welcome to the Pros
So let's say I'm a twenty-something blonde Mexican sports reporter with a body constructed like the proverbial brick shit-house and I'm in a locker room filled with 50 or 60 professional football players in various states of undress.
I'm in my usual professional journalistic attire, which is to say a thin elastic layer of fabric that appears to have been applied to my skin with a spray can. How shocked and offended should I be if I happen to hear some hoots, whistles, and woo-hoo's? Apparently I should be trembling with fury and indignation.
That was the situation this Monday night when Ines Sainz tried to interview Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. It's unclear exactly what was said, and by whom, but it was apparently enough to catch the attention of other female reporters present, who complained to NFL officials.
It's fair to point out that female sideline reporters for major networks are typically in the Erin Andrews mold. Not to be cruel or judgmental, but you won't usually find a Helen Thomas or a Candy Crowly courtside asking a power forward about his three-pointers, or on the 50-yard-line at the Meadowlands discussing the fine points of zone defense.
The network producers have probably snacked enough times at Hooters to understand the football fan demographic. You may hear Dan Dierdorf's voice doing the color commentary, but when the running back is carted off the field with a blown knee, it's Lisa Guerrero on camera with the microphone in his face.
Into this controversy, enter Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis, never renowned for his restraint or reticence. Clinton made the mistake of saying (paraphrased), "Well, what do you expect?" Portis didn't have enough sense to not say what a lot of people were thinking, and come to think of it, neither do I.
Look, this isn't a paralegal getting slapped on the butt in the midst of a deposition at a Fifth Avenue law firm. This is an incredibly hot woman in a steamy room with a bunch of naked or nearly naked professional athletes. Under the circumstances, there ought to be a little flexibility in the definition of sexual harassment. Or to look at it another way, do we have to take EVERYTHING so damned seriously?