The Ines Sainz/Jets Lesson: Stop Half-naked Interviews

Do sports reporters really need to go inside locker rooms after games?

Former Miss Universe contestant and TV sports reporter Ines Sainz has returned to Mexico and now we can all calm down; the pretty girl has left the room. And I’m not even talking about the guys in the New York Jets locker room who are being investigated for acting like 12-year-old boys who found a Playboy when Sainz showed up in tight jeans to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez. I am talking about the media who covered a story about a female sports reporter being reduced to a sexual object by running every provocative picture they could find of her, thus reducing her to a sexual object.

Admittedly, it’s not like it’s difficult to find sexy pictures of this journalist flaunting her healthy assets on TV, on the field and in the locker room. But that does not give the Jets players and coaches the right to make her feel uncomfortable with their comments and actions.

We have all told our sons to act like gentlemen around women and our daughters to dress like ladies around men. This is one of those cases where everyone shares some responsibility, including the third parties who filed the official complaints, as Sainz doesn’t seem to have much of a problem with the incident.[SIGNUP]

The whole thing exposes one of the most bizarre traditions in sports. Why are reporters in the locker room after the game? I am not talking about female reporters, I mean ALL reporters. It is just weird. Who came up with the idea that the best place to interview athletes was when they were just getting out of the shower naked? It must be uncomfortable for the athletes too. Can’t we just give them their privacy while they are changing their clothes?

I used to cover sports in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, and the first couple times you have to go into the meat locker it’s strange, even for a guy. You’re asking about the game and trying not to look at the South Pole. I can’t imagine the uneasiness of women reporters. Certainly the players can give interviews in another area, either right before or right after they shower and change.

Mark Twain once said: “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.” Reporters in the locker room is one of those customs that is tough to justify. Nowhere else is it considered normal to interview people when they are naked, with the exception of the porn industry. And thank goodness they are the only industries where nude interviews are conducted. Could you imagine if it was the norm, in say, Congress?
Oh man, I just lost my appetite.

LARRY MENDTE writes for The Philly Post every Monday and Thursday. See his previous columns here. To watch his video commentaries, go to