Washington Redskins star Clinton Portis refueled the controversy over a TV reporter who was allegedly sexually harassed in the New York Jets’ locker room on the week of Sept. 5.
During a Sept. 14 radio interview, Portis weighed in on the incident which occurred between Mexican TV reporter Ines Sainz and members of the Jets coaching staff and players, who allegedly ran passing drills intentionally near her and made comments about her when she entered the locker room.
Asked how he felt about the presence of female reporters during the “The Mike Wise Show with Holden Kushner,” on 106.7 FM, Portis said, “I think men are gonna tend to turn and look and want to say something to that woman.”
“You put a woman and you give her a choice of 53 athletes, somebody got to be appealing to her. You know, somebody got to spark her interest, or she’s gonna want somebody. I don’t know what kind of woman won’t, if you get to go and look at 53 mens’ packages,” Portis said. “And you’re just sitting here, saying, ‘Oh, none of this is attractive to me.’ I know you’re doing a job, but at the same time, the same way I’m gonna cut my eye if I see somebody worth talking to, I’m sure they do the same thing.”
Portis issued a statement later in the week apologizing for his comments.
“I was wrong to make the comments I did, and I apologize,” Portis stated. “I respect the job that all reporters do. It is a tough job and we all have to work and act in a professional manner. I understand and support the team on these issues.”
Portis may have meant to be humorous and honest with his answer, but it attracted criticism from both NFL and Redskins officials.
“The comments are clearly inappropriate, offensive and have no place in the NFL,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement. “We have contacted the Redskins and they will discuss the matter directly with Mr. Portis.”
Portis may have learned his lesson about speaking his mind to reporters after the incident. During player interview opportunities later in the week, Portis refused to answer any questions while cueing a teammate to put tape over his mouth after each question asked.