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Question of the day: What should be done about the situation surrounding Ines Sainz?

September 15, 2010 |  8:45 am

Ines_240 Reporters from around Tribune Co. tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they're wrong. Check back throughout the day for updates.

Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

The Ines Sainz situation is an opportunity for everyone to be reminded what being a professional means in terms of media relations.

For a football player, it means showing respect to every journalist, which some of the Jets clearly did not do. It also means understanding that there is a time and place for everything, which Clinton Portis clearly does not understand.

For a journalist, it means dressing appropriately and trying to sell information, not sex appeal. You can’t do both, and Sainz intentionally blurs the line between journalist and entertainer. If Sainz wants to dress in jeans tighter than most people’s skin, wear blouses with plunging necklines and pose for bikini photo shoots, she should not show up in a professional football team’s locker room. Or if she does, she shouldn’t be surprised by juvenile behavior.

Updated at 11:11 a.m.

Bill Kline, The Morning Call

Boys will be boys. But men should act like adults. That’s why the New York Jets’ sexual harassment of TV reporter Ines Sainz is a black eye for the NFL.

Sure, it’s OK to look, but to blast her with catcalls and to throw footballs at her are childish. And what she is wearing does not matter -- even if she were wearing nothing but her microphone. This is professional sports, not high school.

Clinton Portis’ reaction – that women reporters go to locker rooms to check out the athletes – is as weak as the Redskins’ offense. Reporters are there to do their job.

To be sure, this incident will raise awareness of the issue and cause the PR-conscious NFL to re-emphasize sensitivity training. And that will work – until the next time men act like boys.

Updated at 11:43 a.m.

Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant

How exactly did this story become a debate about locker room access for female journalists?

Sorry sports fans, but that issue should have been settled a long time ago. Day after day, female reporters interview athletes in locker rooms all over the country without incident.

And let’s stop obsessing about what Sainz was wearing or how she conducted herself. The Jets issued her a credential and it’s the responsibility of the team to police all interactions. If something inappropriate was said, someone from the Jets media relations office should have interceded.

Remember, this is a team that had HBO cameras infesting training camp all summer. They should be far more PR-savvy.

One final question about the J-E-T-S – Shouldn’t the players and coaches be focusing on, you know, football during practice? Instead, Rex’s boys were yucking it up and tossing balls toward Sainz so players could get a closer look.

No wonder they’re 0-1.

Updated at 12:19 p.m.

Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times

Three decades ago, when those of us in the first waves of female sports reporters fought for equal access to press boxes and locker rooms, I couldn’t imagine we’d still be debating this.

But here we go again, thanks to the boorish New York Jets--who should have focused more on preparing for their season opener and less on flirtatiously throwing passes toward Ines Sainz.

She should not have been targeted for catcalls and whistles in the locker room, which is a workplace for players and reporters. Playing in the most media-savvy of leagues and in the country’s biggest market the Jets should know to restrain themselves when reporters and cameras are present.

I’m conflicted, though, over Sainz doing the rounds of TV interview shows. That suggests she enjoys being the story. Once upon a time, that was a cardinal sin for reporters. Now, reporters are encouraged to build themselves into brands with radio and TV shows and endorsements. No doubt she’ll be on "Dancing With the Stars" very soon.

One footnote: I had to laugh at NBC’s Meredith Vieira interviewing Sainz oh-so-seriously and discussing the appropriateness of Sainz’s clothing. Before the 2000 World Series Vieira, then working for "The View," said to the Mets’ Mike Piazza, “Let’s talk about bats. Who has the biggest wood on the team?” She asked another player, “Who’s your favorite player to pat on the behind?” Vieira later said she wasn’t acting as a reporter, yet she had gained access to the field with a media credential.

Standards shift, crises erupt and fade. This will pass, too. Swiftly, I hope.

Photo: Ines Sainz. Credit: Ed Mulholland / US Presswire