The country can breathe a sigh of relief now that the New York Jets will be going through a sexual harassment “educational session” sometime this week or early next week. And, according to the The Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM), it’s about time!
But old guard Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka told The Daily Caller that the whole situation is just plain “stupid.”
“The country is full of nonsense not common sense now! Let’s go back to common sense. Come on guys!” he lamented.
The Jets are currently under investigation for allegedly sexually harassing Mexican T.V. sports reporter Ines Sainz with catcalls and close call footballs.
Sainz did not bring the initial complaint. The Association for Women in Sports Media raised the issue to the NFL Saturday evening, after receiving notification of the incident.
“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,” the group said in a statement – which begs for a “that’s what she said” retort.
While the team is under investigation at the behest of a third party interest group, Sainz remains unsure as to whether or not she was harassed, preferring to let the NFL make the final judgment. “I am not the one who say the charge or tried to involve all the team in this situation,” Sainz told Meredith Vieira on NBC’s “Today Show.”
Jaclyn Friedman, executive director of WAM! (Women, Action & the Media) told TheDC that although Sainz did not feel like she was harassed, sexual harassment is not emotional. “It is the sexualizing of an employee in the workplace. So the difference between sexual and sexualizing is that somebody is being treated as though their value is solely reduced to their sexuality,” she said. “It is not about how you feel.”
Friedman denies Sainz has any culpability, no matter her skin-tight outfit, saying the only way to avoid harassment is to not be around harassers. On the flip side, Coach Ditka considers the attention Sainz received to be somewhat complimentary.
“She’s an attractive girl, that’s why she combs her hair, wears those tight jeans, and all that make up,” he told TheDC. “She had no room in those pants.”
Greg Aiello, NFL spokesman, told TheDC that the Jets reached out to AWSM board member Joanne Gerstner to initiate the education process. “They are going to work that out, I think Joanne, or a representative of the association is going to be a part of it plus a special counselor on workplace conduct to talk to the team,” he explained.
Aiello said that he could not think of any other instance of a team having to go through sexual harassment training classes.
NEXT: Ditka blasts people charging sexual harassment