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NY Jets hit with harassment allegations after 'incident' with reporter

By Cassie Spodak, CNN
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Reporter: I did nothing to provoke Jets
  • Jets team members are facing allegations of harassing a female TV Azteca reporter
  • It's not clear what happend but a female colleague expressed concern to the reporter
  • The reporter, Ines Sainz, says Jets owner Woody Johnson called to apologize
  • The team says it will "gather the facts and take any appropriate steps"

New York (CNN) -- The New York Jets football team is investigating allegations of harassment by team members towards television sports reporter Ines Sainz.

It is unclear what exactly happened when Sainz, from the Mexican network TV Azteca, entered the Jets locker room Saturday after practice but Sainz told CNN's Rick Sanchez on Monday that from the moment she entered, she felt all eyes on were her.

"I feel [a] little uncomfortable because evidently it is not easy to be in the locker room and hear and notice that everybody is speaking about you," Sainz said.

CNN was not able to contact anyone else in the locker room at the time but Sainz said that a female colleague took her aside and expressed concern and embarrassment for the situation she was in. But Sainz said she was just trying to focus on her job, and not the joking and talking going on behind her.

"But I really know that she heard something that I didn't hear, and the rest of the media that was inside heard things that I didn't hear," Sainz told CNN.

The Association of Women in Sports and Media spoke out Monday on Sainz' behalf, calling for a sharp rebuke "If Jets players, coaches and staff allegedly involved in the incident are found to have acted in unprofessional and harassing behavior toward Ms. Sainz, we expect and demand reprimand and punishment by the NFL and Jets," the association said in a statement.

The association will be holding meetings between its officials and the National Football League in the next week in an effort "to strengthen dialogue with leagues and teams to help elevate standards and maintain a harassment-free work place," according to a statement from the group.

The Jets released a statement on Sunday saying, "We will continue to work with the league to gather the facts and take any appropriate steps necessary to maintain a respectful environment for the media."

Sainz confirmed in her interview on CNN's "Rick's List" that Jets team owner Woody Johnson called her personally to stress that all Jets members are expected to act professionally and to extend courtesy to members of media regardless of gender.

Sainz told CNN that she accepted an apology from Johnson and that she also made a statement to the NFL about the incident.

Although Sainz at first seemed surprised by the attention she was garnering, she told CNN that she does not believe this type of behavior is acceptable.

"I think that its not good that these kinds of things happen and it mustn't happen anymore," Sainz told CNN. "Everyone knows that a woman or a man deserves the same treatment in the locker room."

Sainz is expected to report on the Jets' opening game at the Meadowlands on Monday night.

CNN's Megan Miller contributed to this report