Clinton Portis weighs in on Jets/female reporter situation

Aug. 07, 2010 - Ashburn, Virginia, United States of America - 07 August 2010: Washington Redskins Running Back CLINTON PORTIS.

After spending the offseason keeping a relatively low profile, Clinton Portis decided to chime in on the situation in New York, where Jets players are under scrutiny after a few players allegedly made catcalls at sideline reporter Ines Sainz.

Here’s what Portis said on his weekly radio appearance on 106.7 The Fan (via

“I think you put women reporters in the locker room in position 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 going to tend to turn and look and want to say something to that woman,” Portis said in his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan.

“You put a woman and you give her a choice of 53 athletes, somebody got to be appealing to her,” Portis said. “You know, somebody got to spark her interest, or she’s going to want somebody. I don’t know what kind of woman won’t, if you get to go and look at 53 men’s [bodies]. … I know you’re doing a job, but at the same time, the same way I’m going to cut my eye if I see somebody worth talking to, I’m sure they do the same thing.”

Quite frankly, I don’t disagree with anything Portis (who seemed to be talking more in generalities) said. I’m sure there is bound to be someone that a female reporter is going to be attracted to in a locker room. And after spending the majority of their time around male teammates, obviously some players are going to be attracted to her as well.

But that’s not really the point here. I get that boys will be boys, but you have to be careful. Even though football is a game, the NFL is still a business and when players are at practice, they’re at work. They should think of it as an office setting and therefore, should respect female reporters just as they would anyone else. It should be a business like atmosphere at all times.

Now, is that realistic? No, and I’m not naïve to think that players are going to be on their best behavior when a hot female reporter is around them. And throwing a couple of passes in her direction (which apparently is one of the things that the Jets players did) is one thing – that’s harmless. But it’s quite another if she was made to feel uncomfortable while she was on the job. That’s not right.

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Portis questions Campbell’s leadership during radio interview

During a recent radio interview with ESPN980, Redskins running back Clinton Portis questioned why quarterback Jason Campbell was made a team captain and he wasn’t, then essentially questioned the signal caller’s leadership ability.


Asked on ESPN980 why Campbell was a team captain and he wasn’t, Portis replied: “I wonder the same thing. It’s no disrespect to Jason, but everybody in that locker room will tell you — you will never see Jason mad, you will never see Jason’s tempo change.”

Portis continued: “(He’s) going to give you everything (he’s) got. But as a leader … it was always, ‘Jason couldn’t take control of the huddle,’ or ‘He didn’t do this’ or ‘He didn’t do that.’ That wasn’t Jason’s character. … I think Jason, you can’t place so much on somebody who’s not ready for that situation. I think Jason has enough trouble in getting the plays in and worrying about this, compared to controlling the huddle.”

Portis told ESPN980 that Campbell isn’t the type of player who would go to a coach and say, “‘Well, we need to do this or we need to do that,’ or ‘This is how the players want it.'”

Campbell wasn’t pleased about Portis’ comments and responded to them during a Tuesday telephone interview with The Washington Post.
“How is he going to say I’m not a leader?” Campbell said. “I mean, that’s just not true. To me, that’s somebody who shows that they don’t know what a real leader is. A leader is not someone who leads by the wrong example. A leader is someone who is trying to do the right thing and trying to lead by example, and not just [being] about themselves.

“There’s a reason guys get selected as captains, and there’s a reason guys don’t get selected as captains. Obviously, he doesn’t have the respect of the locker room to be a captain. For someone to try to take a shot at me at the end of the season, after they haven’t even been around, only speaks about their character anyways.”

Campbell informed The Post via text message Wednesday that Portis had called him to clear the air. The text read: “We’re just going to move on. We don’t want to have any issues out there between us for the offseason, so we’re just going to squash all of this right now.”

I agree with what Campbell said. Leaders don’t talk about internal matters with the media, even if they sandwich what critical comments around positive reinforcement. It’s great that the two of them cleared the air, but Portis was still in the wrong here.

That said, maybe there is something to what Portis said about Campbell’s leadership skills. Nobody can argue that Campbell doesn’t work hard and give everything he has for his team. That guy took a beating this year behind a bad offensive line and he kept showing up the next Sunday. But there’s a major difference between being a good teammate and being a leader.

There’s a good chance that neither of these players will be back in Washington next year. With Mike Shanahan taking over the reigns, one would assume that he’d make wholesale changes and clean house. But we’ll have to see what transpires in Washington over the course of the next couple months.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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