Jets Locker Room Scandal: So What Counts As Harassment?

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Ross D. Franklin

So was it sexual harassment or not?

At first, news reports of inappropriate locker room behavior by New York Jets players toward Mexican TV reporter Inez Sainz during a weekend practice brought public jeers an internal probe of what happened.

Then there was even an apology from owner Woody Johnson.

But on a Today show appearance Tuesday, Sainz says maybe the harrassment wasn’t sexual after all.

“The line is being fragile between one or the other,” she said. Other female reporters in the locker room did however report hearing inappropriate comments although it was unclear if they were sexual in nature.

Sainz, a former Miss Universe, emphasized in the interview that she did nothing to appear sexy, and the overthrown passes in her direction may well have been overtures. When Today host Meredith Viera asked her about “provacative” photos posted to her website and to TV Azteca’s she said: “I’m not trying to be provocative,ā€ Sainz said about those photos. ā€œIā€™m trying to be attractive.”

Which brings us back to the murky middle ground, wondering at what point jokes veer from funny to offensive, when a jolly locker room turns instead into a hostile work environment.