[Update: Clinton Portis via the Redskins PR department has issued an apology. See bottom of post for that.]
Clinton Portis has always been an outspoken person, letting his comments fly, seemingly without any prior thought to the situation. This morning on the Mike Wise Show on 106.7 The Fan was no different.
[Note: Holden Kushner and Brian Mitchell were hosting the show. Mike Wise is out all week.]
The running back was a big win for the young sports talk radio station because of his ability to produce quotes (see Portis Pockets Straight), so when the conversation turned to reporter Ines Sainz accusing the New York Jets of sexually harassing her, of course CP had an opinion. And of course, it was one in which he clearly didn’t think all the way through. Via the amazing transcriber Dan Steinberg on DC Sports Bog, Portis lets you know being exposed to athletes packages is irresistible:
“You know man, I think you put women reporters in the locker room in positions to see guys walking around naked, and you sit in the locker room with 53 guys, and all of the sudden you see a nice woman in the locker room, I think men are gonna tend to turn and look and want to say something to that woman. For the woman, I think they make it so much that you can’t interact and you can’t be involved with athletes, you can’t talk to these guys, you can’t interact with these guys.
“And I mean, 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 men’s packages. 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.”
So apparently cat-calling is a completely normal thing for Portis and it would be impossible for a female reporter to not jump on one of these athletes and look for a go-round when they step in the locker room and see athletes naked. Sounds very Roethlisberger-esque to me. Sainz and other female reporters are not there to fraternize, they are there to do their jobs. They know this. Portis and other athletes apparently do not. This kind of attitude is something I’ve come to expect from professional or collegiate athletes (though not all), but to think the reporters are there to find someone to hook up with is a ridiculous notion. At least they are professional enough to realize that. There’s a big difference between looking at someone beautiful and verbally harassing them because of how they look.
This is not a conversation of how female reporters are dressed, though they should always dress professionally, but to how athletes respond to women because of the way they feel they deserve the attention. Not everyone has the idea that women are around simply to throw themselves at men. They are professionals and they are there to do their jobs.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going to “cut” your eye, but it doesn’t mean they are there to do the same. The Roethlisberger situation, as well as this one, has shown that professional athletes need to show more respect to women in every manner of life whether it is at a bar, a club, in the locker room or out on the street. Now that’s something they need to add to the rookie symposium.
[Statement from the NFL: “The comments are clearly inappropriate, offensive and and have no place in the NFL,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement (tweeted by The New York Times’ Judy Battista). “We have contacted the Redskins & they will discuss the matter directly w/Mr. Portis.”]
[The Redskins are expected to release a statement later today. I’ll be sure to post that here on DMV Sports as well.]
UPDATE 3:12 p.m.: Clinton Portis has issued an apology via the Redskins PR department:
“I was wrong to make the comments I did, and I apologize. 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.”