UNIVERSAL CITY, California (AP) — A Mexican television reporter who said the New York Jets made her feel uncomfortable in their locker room is returning to work next week, but says she’ll conduct her interviews elsewhere.
Ines Sainz of TV Azteca said she suggested to the NFL that she conduct player interviews on the field or on the sideline.
“I’m not going into the locker rooms anymore,” she said Thursday at a news conference near Universal Studios. “It’s not a good place right now for me. I don’t want to be in there.”
Sainz said she is scheduled to do interviews with the Pittsburgh Steelers next week, followed by visits to the Jets and New England Patriots.
Sainz said she took a break because of the fallout from her experience in the Jets locker room.
“I need to wait one month to work again because I don’t want to be the focus,” she said. “I’m not looking for that kind of publicity. It affects my career and development in the States.”
Sainz released a letter she wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell dated Oct. 13 thanking him for his prompt response to the Jets’ behavior. League spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Goodell received it.
Last month, Sainz said she was uncomfortable in the Jets’ locker room, where a few players made catcalls as she waited with two male co-workers to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is of Mexican descent. An assistant coach also seemed to deliberately throw footballs to players near where Sainz was standing on the sideline during practice.
Sainz was wearing tight jeans and a form-fitting white blouse, which triggered public criticism. On Thursday, she wore a black-white-and-lime green sequined mini skirt and white blouse.
“I like to look good, but that in no way makes me any less dedicated to the sports journalism world,” she wrote to Goodell. “I’m proud of being a woman and I’m not shy about hiding it. However, this in no way makes me any less of a professional.”
The NFL responded to the incident with the Jets by developing a workplace conduct program, underwritten by Jets owner Woody Johnson, to educate the players and staffs of all 32 teams.
Sainz said she was taken aback by the public reaction to her locker room experience.
“In the first moment, I didn’t understand exactly what happened. It was very fast,” she said. “When I returned back to Mexico and things started to calm down, a lot of media treated me very bad.
“If I dressed properly or not, I have nine years of my career making interviews with top players all around the world and I can’t believe that someone says my outfit is not proper. It’s unfair treatment. I believe the media thought they were going to find a victim but clearly I don’t feel like a victim.”
Sainz said she has received 10 to 12 job interviews and an offer to pose nude in Playboy, which the married mother of three children rejected.
She accepted an offer from boxing promoter Top Rank to provide daily reports and features in the week leading up to the Nov. 13 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito in Texas.
“I’m ready to move on and keep working,” she said.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.