FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — On Tuesday afternoon, the Jets were business as usual in the handling of their skintight visitor as television reporter Ines Sainz was back at the Jets facility. Just a year ago, Sainz's last visit to the team facility created back-page headlines and led to the team being labeled as "Animal House" by some in the media.
A reporter from the Mexican media outlet TV Azteca, Sainz was attending her first Jets practice since receiving catcalls and some unexpected attention last September prior to an interview with quarterback Mark Sanchez. Given the national attention the incident drew, from outrage of the reportedly inappropriate behavior of the players and the coaching staff towards Sainz to criticism from women's rights advocates over Sainz's risqué attire, the Jets chose to treat this as a routine visit.
"Business as usual," team spokesman Bruce Speight told Yahoo! Sports. "Ines is welcome at our facility to cover our team any time."
Saniz has attended Jets home games since last September when a complaint over her treatment was filed with the Association for Women in Sport's Media (Sainz to this day says that she did not file the suit and did not direct anyone to file on her behalf), but this is her first Jets practice since that day.
It was a normal routine for the Jets and it appeared that no special accommodations were made for Sainz, who for two straight years now has covered the U.S. Open and then scheduled a visit with the Jets.
On Tuesday morning Sainz watched practice from the sidelines along with the rest of the media and a team spokesman accompanied her for the entire 30 minutes for which practice is made available for filming. The team did not seem to change anything about practice including player drills or location or even where the media is allowed to stand and observe from the sidelines. The only possible difference might have been head coach Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman, who reportedly threw the ball in the reporter's direction last year so that players could get a closer look at her skintight outfit, were on the flipside of the field from where the media stood.
Neither ventured towards the near sideline during the 30-minute media window.
Perhaps toned down by her standards, Sainz wore a rather tight blue and white dress and open-toed heels for her busy afternoon of work.
Sainz conducted an interview with Ryan and then with Sanchez in the afternoon but following practice did not go into the locker room, the site where it was reported that she encountered the bulk of the unwanted advances and discomfort last September. Her interviews were conducted in a different part of the team's facility, in the field house, adjacent to the locker room. This is the customary site for television interviews.
Last year, the Sainz incident created a media circus just two days before the Jets opened the season with a Monday night, 10-9 loss to Baltimore, a distraction they perhaps hope to avoid this time.
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer
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