On early Tuesday morning, Steve Cohen and the New York Mets fired General Manager Jared Porter. The move came after ESPN made a special report Monday night, detailing his sending of over 60 unsolicited texts to a foreign female reporter back in 2016.
Among the texts were sexually explicit photos. The female reporter in question chose to stay anonymous until now over fear of retaliation from Porter. She specifically cited fear over how this would effect her career as a journalist, as well as her social life in her home country.
Porter’s termination comes less than two months after his initial hiring back in December. He was previously an executive with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. Porter was with the Cubs at the time of the event. Reportedly, only one person within the Cubs organization and three ESPN employees had knowledge of the texts prior to Monday.
Cohen released the following statement on the matter.
We have terminated Jared Porter this morning . In my initial press conference I spoke about the importance of integrity and I meant it.There should be zero tolerance for this type of behavior.
— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) January 19, 2021
Cohen’s swift action here represents a good step forward in addressing sexism in professional sports. Since taking over as owner, Cohen as stressed how he hopes to promote a positive culture shift within the organization. The decision to fire Porter as quickly as he did shows that this wasn’t a hollow claim.
According to team president Sandy Alderson, Porter has not denied the allegations. Porter has also discussed the matter with him and other Mets officials since the news broke. Alderson released an official statement on the matter as well.
We have terminated General Manager Jared Porter, effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/eD0ifVJ0eH
— New York Mets (@Mets) January 19, 2021
Meanwhile, the Cubs have also released a statement. In it they say “this story came to our attention [Monday night], and we are not aware of this incident ever being reported to the organization. Had we been notified, we would have taken swift action as the alleged behavior is in violation of our code of conduct….We take issues of sexual harassment seriously and plan to investigate the matter.” It is unknown if the Cubs front office had the knowledge or capability to address this event internally back in 2016.
At the moment, the Mets have not announced who will be taking over as GM. Current assistant GM and former GM candidate Zack Scott is the likeliest candidate to assume the position. Former interim GM John Ricco is also still with the team, making him a viable, short-term replacement as well.
Featured Image Courtesy of the New York Mets
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