I am sure you’ve heard the phrase “boys being boys”? Usually, that kind of behavior is reserved for locker rooms and away from the stadium. Usually.
But apparently the New York Jets went beynd the boundaries of what is acceptable, according to the Associated Press.
This particular incident involves Ines Sainz, a reporter for TV Azteca, a Mexico-based television network while at the team’s Saturday practice.
Here is what is known up until now:
*During the portion of the team practice that is open to the media, secondary coach Dennis Thurman intentionally overthrew footballs during position drills s they would land in the general vicinity of Sainz.
*Jets linebacker Jason Taylor – not part of Thurman’s unit, took part in the drill.
*Head coach Rex Ryan even got into the act as he, according to the New York Post, directed Thurman to run a pattern near the sideline and intentionally overthrow the coach – again with the ball going towards Sainz.
The Jets – in either the spirit of nipping this potential problem in the bud or exercising spin control, depending on your point of view – issued a statement, saying team owner Woody Johnson spoke to Sainz about the incident in question. The Jets also said that it would work with the NFL to gather facts and “take any appropriate steps necessary to maintain a respectful environment for the media.”
One of those steps mentioned included a phone call by team general manager Mike Tannenbaum to Joanne Gerstner, a board of a group called Association for Women in Sports Media. Apparently the two discussed possibly scheduling an educational and awareness session with the team.
Sunday morning found this statement from the offices of this organization:
“AWSM, the NFL and Jets have been in contact since Saturday evening regarding this situation. Both the NFL and Jets were responsive to our concerns and are investigating the matter. We are awaiting the results of the investigation and further action from the NFL and Jets. AWSM remains steadfast in its long-standing commitment to ensure all women in sports media are treated respectfully, equally and professionally while working in the locker room. We will remain on top of this situation.”
How will this episode affect the Jets in the short- and long-term? Kind of hard to say as the investigation is in its beginning stages. Once facts begin to come out, clarity should follow.
No word as of yet from the Commissioner’s office, but that should change relatively soon. The Jets, for their sake, better hope that this is a case of a misunderstanding between all parties involved. The league does not need this kind of negative publiciity.
As for myself, I am not about to take sides in this one as it looks like it is in “he said, she said” mode right now, and no facts in the case have been established.