WHEN INES SAINZ, a reporter from Mexico's TV Azteca, walked into the Jets locker room on Sunday, she was greeted with catcalls and hoots from the players.
Locker rooms are awkward places for interviews in general - journalists need information as quickly as possible after games and practices, so the athletes often have cameras thrust in their faces immediately after they get out of the shower. Sometimes, the players are draped in towels. Sometimes they are buck naked.
On top of that, there is often a high-testosterone, macho mentality among world-class athletes who are celebrated multi-millionaires. And the locker room is their territory.
It can be an especially difficult environment for female sports reporters. If that female sports reporter is attractive, it can be worse - as was the case with Sainz, a former Miss Spain.
FYI: Women were actually banned from most men's professional locker rooms until 1977. Some bans remained in place until 1985. Male reporters are not banned from WNBA locker rooms (and never have been - the league was created after the gender issue in sports was a major problem).
The incident with Sainz has generated fierce reactions - from people saying that the high-testosterone behavior is the norm in a locker room and that Sainz brought on the issue herself, to people saying that her gender should not be an issue, ever.
What should we learn from this incident? What is the lesson for female sports reporters (or aspiring female sports reporters)?
6 months ago