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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Boys do funny things when women come around

It goes all the way back to elementary school: Boys act odd when there are girls around. No better evidence than last week, when the New York Jets made a stink about TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz showing up in a way-too-tight ensemble to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Cat-calls and passes fired in her direction. Nobody deserves to be treated like that on the job.

However, Jets media relation personnel would have been well within their right to ask her to change her outfit to something more professional before returning to the facility. They could also insist she act in a more professional manner, and if this behavior was too much for her to handle, then she could face revocation of her presume all-access pass. But as far as we know, that didn't happen. Instead we have the situation we do with Sainz.

I'll be the first to admit I don't wear dress slacks and ties on the sidelines. I'm more comfortable in sneakers and jeans, but I always wear polo and button-down shirts at high school football and Oakland basketball games. I feel it's more important to impress from the waist up, since we sit for most of our day.
Sainz has made it clear she intends to be the "hottest sideline reporter in sports." Sure, our minds next link to ESPN's own Erin Andrews, who draws eyes wherever she goes. Andrews, while she attracted much attention, dresses in a much more professional manner and can't be used to rationalize Sainz' wardrobe choices.
Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche has been on the front lines in sports for more than 30 years. Covering the Lions, she makes her visits to the locker room, as I'm sure other female reporters do. In the Sainz instance, she says "professionalism works both ways."
She said the locker-room workplace was a worse environment 20 years ago, when there weren't as many female reporters there. Despite the years of normality in the female-in-a-male locker room scenario, it can still be unsettling, Pasche said.
"I'm always uncomfortable because the locker room is just not a good place to work. However, most male reporters I know are uncomfortable, too," she said.
She joked the only complaint she has in the Lions' locker room is the players can be too polite.
Bottom line: pros need to suck it up and do their job and media members need to dress appropriately. If they don't, somebody needs to escort them to the door.

* Update - The NFL has determined all teams need to undergo training on how to deal with media personnel.


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