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Ines Sainz: Female locker-room reporters react
The TV Azteca reporter's accusations of mistreatment by Jets players has sparked debate. What do her colleagues think?
Ines Sainz made the talk show rounds, including an appearance on the CBS early show.
Ines Sainz made the talk show rounds, including an appearance on the CBS early show.
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espite her acceptance of the New York Jets' apology, Ines Sainz remains the talk of the NFL and the media world. Sainz's claims of misconduct in the team's locker room prompted the NFL to issue a memo about proper decorum and respect, but have also raised questions of her own conduct and professionalism. In the wake of the incident, other female reporters are offering their insights stemming from experiences inside team locker rooms:

You can still succeed in this chavaunistic culture: "To be a real, professional female sports journalist in this country, you must know: Athletes can be pigs," says Ashley Fox in the Philadelphia Inquirer. But here's my advice: "Have a thick skin and be prepared to fire back at them." Obviously, "things are going to happen" — but you can "limit the collateral damage" by behaving and dressing like a professional. After all, "you are there to get information, not to get a date."
"Professionalism is the priority for woman covering sports"

Everyone's been respectful to me: I have never "had a problem in a locker room, which I attribute to the gentlemanly qualities of the men in them, and my own tact," says Sally Jenkins in The Washington Post. Do I enjoy being there? No. But "it's an exposing situation - for everybody." Because half-naked men are interviewed in that setting, "it's actually surprising there aren't more tensions between reporters and athletes." We should recognize that there are "thousands of amiable professional dealings each week" that go on "without incident."
"Once again, too much locker room talk"

The television reporter rules could be different: "I don't think this reporter represents me or any of the other talented women reporters in our market," says Lori Nickel in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Since I write for a living, "no one cares what I look like." But TV is "a whole different animal" where "sex appeal means better ratings." We should be asking Sainz: "Don't you want to be known for your words and your questions as a reporter and not your attire or your actions?"
"From the women in the locker room"

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