Five years ago, Jenn Sterger was discovered in the stands at a Florida State game. Donned in a tight-fitting tank top and a cowboy hat, she became an instant sensation. From the internet to Maxim and Playboy magazines and then to Sports Illustrated’s website, Sterger was a hit for her good looks and parlayed them into fame and employment.
Five years later, now a more conservatively dressed host on The Daily Line on VERSUS, Sterger is calling out a female sportscaster who is the focal point of a harassment allegation levied on the New York Jets.
Inez Sainz, a reporter for TV Azteca, claims she was the subject of catcalls and boorish behavior at a Jets practice last weekend. In Sterger’s eyes, Sainz simply got the attention she was looking for.
Jenn Sterger joined WQAM in Miami with Sid Rosenberg to discuss the Inez Sainz incident, whether she has ever been in a similar situation, her change in appearance in hopes of being a more credible journalist, whether women should be in a men’s locker room, Erin Andrews’ rise to fame, whether she’s mad at Sainz and how appearance affects how women are viewed.
On her general take on the Ines Sainz situation:
“This is the same woman that walked into the Patriots’ locker room about a year ago and asked Tom Brady to marry her. … So we have to kind of keep this whole thing in perspective, that she’s not exactly been this shrinking violet when it comes to being on the sidelines. There’s plenty of pictures of her out there at football games, at basketball games, and she’s not exactly appropriately dressed. And this is coming from someone like me. Look, I don’t play any games … I know my past and I know my role. I’m very aware of what’s been in my wardrobe in past years. At the same time, I’m 27 now and fighting gravity. … I’ve realized that if I want to be taken seriously in the business that I’m choosing to pursue, I’ve got to dress a certain way, I’ve got to look a certain way. That’s why I had my implants removed last year. That’s why I’ve really kind of taken a more conservative turn in how I dress. … Let’s put it this way, not all jeans and white T-shirts are created equal.”
On whether she feels Sainz accomplished her ultimate goal, that being getting noticed:
“She accomplished exactly what she set out to do, are you kidding me? Exactly what she set out to do.”
On whether she has fallen victim to similar circumstances:
“Look, you know, I’m sure at some point we’ve all been in certain situations that we wish we wouldn’t be in when it comes to our jobs. Regarding this whole thing, with men and women working side-by-side in certain fields, there’s always going to be a weird tension. … If you’re going to be in a man’s world, you’ve got to understand, one, your role, and understand that as much as we like to say things are equal nowadays, they really aren’t. As far as women have come, we are still not there yet. … I’m just as likely to get written up by HR as the guys are. But I understand that it’s part of being a part of the boy’s club. You understand what you sign up for in the beginning.”
On whether there is room for women in a men’s locker room:
“I don’t want to go into a men’s locker room, let’s put it that way. And not for the Clinton Portis-type reasons, because some of us can restrain ourselves and be adults. I just feel like if we don’t allow men into women’s locker rooms, the same should carry over.”
On the celebrity of Erin Andrews and how the peeping incident propelled her to a new stage of stardom:
“It’s how you handle the situation. Certain unfortunate things may happen. We don’t plan everything that’s going to happen to us in our careers. She certainly did not ask to be peeped upon. The way I look at it is she took a negative situation and made it positive. She took advantage of a situation when it was presented to her. She’s been nothing but a good spokesmodel when it comes to women’s rights and stalking laws. I think that she’s used it as a platform to make these causes known.”
On how Sainz’s situation is different:
“Maybe more will come of this Inez situation, but right now, as I see it, I see it as a one-woman show and as much as she doesn’t want to say she’s looking for publicity, her actions prior to all of this happening … they say otherwise.”
On whether she is upset with Sainz:
“To each their own. You’ve got to do you at the end, but at the same time, a lot of people have accused me in previous years of doing similar things and setting women in sports back. … I get what they’re saying, but I’ve always maintained the fact that I realize I was discovered for the way I look and how I was dressed. Have I changed that since? Have I tried to rectify that since? Of course, especially in the past year. I think I’ve more than made it clear that I don’t want to be seen in this way anymore.”
On how appearance effects the way women are viewed:
“It brings me up this great quote I remember from one of Dave Chappelle’s standup acts. You can’t dress like a hooker and then be like, ‘Just because I’m dressed this way does not make me a hooker.’”