Baltimore Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones had another great game in his team's 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. His 63-yard punt return was the only touchdown the Ravens could come up with against Pittsburgh's typically impressive defense, and that was the follow-up to his 105-yard kick return against the Oakland Raiders in Week 10. There's no doubt that in Baltimore's injury-plagued (and now suspension-plagued) lineup, Jones has become one of his team's most important players.
However, Jones laid a major fumble after the game, when he was interviewed by NBC's Michele Tafoya. When Tafoya congratulated Jones on his performance, the receiver responded with a "Thank you, gorgeous" and a cheesy wink.
Tafoya laughed it off and went on with her work, but that's not the point. The point is that she shouldn't have to.
Maybe we're just in an era of political correctness that makes this seem strange. I would like to believe that we're actually in an era where there are enough women who have proven their worth as people who know a lot about football to not have to put up with stuff like this anymore.
The role of a sideline reporter is a secondary one at best, but Tafoya is a veteran and a pro who does a lot of different things in the medium, and she should expect to be treated with the same respect and regard any man would receive in a similar circumstance.
As Steve DelVecchio of Larry Brown Sports pointed out, it wasn't cool when Cam Newton recently referred to a female reporter as "Sweetheart" during a press conference, and this is no better. In fact, there are many work environments in which this would officially constitute harassment.
And by that professional definition, I think it qualifies. Tafoya can't take a shot back at Jones, because she's doing her job and continuing to interview players. She can't lose her cool, and she didn't. Full marks to her for her professionalism, and a failing grade to Jacoby Jones for not realizing the situation he put Tafoya in.
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