THE INES SAINZ SAGA
By their own admission, New York Jets players went out of bounds in their catcalls and other comments to Mexican TV reporter Ines Sainz. Yet, in later remarks, Sainz seems not as ruffled as another female correspondent who reported the incident. And, as she left the United States on Tuesday, with conservative radio lambasting her in the same style that Members of Congress and the media once applied to Ingrid Bergman, Sainz said she was embarrassed by the publicity, while others think the incident has been blown out of proportion.
Reporters have every reason to expect professional treatment from athletes. Yet, any seasoned female reporter knows she may attract leers, stares, even a few salacious comments. Those who are amply endowed have an even heightened expectation of a reaction – or should have when they go into a locker room where the testosterone level is higher than the laundry piles.
More, the argument can be made that female reporters, no less than females in all walks of life dress to attract. They are acutely conscious of their good looks and especially their bodies. That doesn’t mean a tight sweater is an open invitation to be harassed, but it does shorten the odds that men will take notice (boys too). Still, there must be given the respect of their profession.
There is a line here, a standard for behavior on both sides. Right now that line is not boldly drawn. Moreover, there is and always has been an awareness of the sexual attraction of female athletes. Male coaches, like fathers everywhere, go into denial when their daughters reach puberty, but the male animal in general is prone to admire the female form. Most of the truly beautiful women I have known are generally tolerant of admiration that stops short of rudeness/abuse.
Sainz made a point of Tweeting a photo of her in the clothes she wore at the Jets game. But, the Internet, as well as media in both countries, including her own TV station, are chock full of photos of Sainz in bikinis but also in very revealing garb while interviewing athletes. Eg: the photo on the left shows Sainz before the Jets interviews; the photo on the right shows Sainz, also working, this time in the University of Phoenix stadium. Any male who didn’t stare at the Phoenix photo belongs in a monastery.
But, Sainz is not the only female sports reporter whose assets are abundantly displayed by their choice of work clothes. On the bottom are photos of Erin Andrews (left) and Jill Arrington at work. None of them go to work dressed as Sister Sarah Brown, nor should they. Indeed, they exemplify a theme from “Guys and Dolls” – “there ain’t nothing in the world like a dame.” Still, there’s no excuse for the Jets’ crudeness.
SPY readers may well remember the Internet pictorial by Sports Crunch which named the “50 hottest Olympic athletes” in August 2008. Four softball players were among the 19 USA athletes whose pictures adorned the spread; some of the other 14 were quite revealing. The softball players were Jennie Finch (#4), Cat Osterman (32) Caitlin Lowe (43), Taryne Mowatt (49). The others were Dara Torres, Brittany Dircks, Lolo Jones, Kara Goucher, Nastia Liukin, Kerri Walsh, Amy Acuff, Misty-May Treanor, Allyson Felix, Alicia Sacramone, Heather Mitts, Natalie Coughlin, Logan Tom, Amanda Beard, and Hope Solo.
Yes, we need to adhere to the bounds of good taste, while always remembering that phrase from an old Glen Miller tune: “why does a gander meander in search of a goose, why does a lady of 80 go out on the loose…..”