By Mary Paoletti
I've so far avoided speaking out about the Ines Sainz debacle. But that changes right now.
In three days, I'll be at New Meadowlands Stadium to cover the PatriotsJets game for CSNNE. It's likely that part of my job on Sunday will be to patrol the New York locker room for player interviews. I would be lying if I said that what female reporter Sainz went through isn't on my mind as the weekend approaches.
You see, Ines and I have a lot in common.
No, I've never been called "the hottest sports reporter in Mexico" (weird). FHM has never put me on any of it's "Hottest anything in the World" lists. Oh, I've also never been in movies, posed in bikinis for magazines, or run informal bicep competitions during the Super Bowl.
But you know what? We're both 5'8".
So of course the fact that I've never let locker room behavior bother me in the past is completely changed now. Of course I'm going to become obsessed with the idea of being harassed. Why do they even let me in there?!
Well. One thing I'm keeping in mind is that I have a certain amount of control over how I'm perceived. Linda Cohn, ESPN veteran and career-hero of mine, tweeted it best yesterday.
"Women in lockerooms should be educated on subject they're covering & should dress in business attire,'' she wrote. "If female reporters act professionally in lockerooms, most athletes will too. It's that simple.''
Sounds like a plan to me, Linda.
Just in case, though, I've got a fail-safe in mind. This outfit was tested in Washington and was deemed 100 Portis-proof. Phew!