While he was a member of the Chicago Cubs organization, new New York Mets GM Jared Porter reportedly sent unwanted explicit photos to a female reporter who was in the United States from another country.
That’s the disturbing story tonight from Jeff Passan and Mina Kimes:
New York Mets general manager Jared Porter sent explicit photos, including a naked picture of a penis, to a foreign female reporter in 2016 after she had ignored dozens of other messages from him for weeks.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 19, 2021
Then the Cubs’ director of scouting, Porter allegedly sent upwards of 60 texts messages to the reporter, without receiving a reply, before sending the explicit images. Porter acknowledged texting with the woman, but claimed the explicit images were “kinda like joke-stock images.” The impact on the reporter’s career and wellbeing was significant. It’s a very sad, disturbing story.
The whole story is worth reading for the context and the events that took place over a period of years.
Mets President Sandy Alderson offered a statement to ESPN: “I have spoken directly with Jared Porter regarding events that took place in 2016 of which we were made aware tonight for the first time. Jared has acknowledged to me his serious error in judgment, has taken responsibility for his conduct, has expressed remorse and has previously apologized for his actions. The Mets take these matters seriously, expect professional and ethical behavior from all of our employees, and certainly do not condone the conduct described in your story. We will follow up as we review the facts regarding this serious issue.”
Out of concern about possible retaliation, the reporter did not contact the Cubs, Porter’s employer, at the time. The reporter’s lawyer put her in contact with a (now) former Cubs employee from her home country at the time of the texts, though it’s unclear what level that employee was working at, what that person tried to accomplish, etc. The report mentions only that the employee seemed to try to play the middle ground, but there may have been a dispute between the two about whether she should file a lawsuit.
There will be much more coming on this, because Porter’s conduct, as described, is indefensible. You don’t do the things alleged in the report if you’re just trying to have a normal conversation with a colleague or even a romantic interest. It crossed a lot of lines, and that’s before we get to the very obvious and enormous line crossed with the unwanted explicit pictures.
The Cubs front office – much of which still has overlap from 2016 – will be pressed to discuss what they knew about Porter’s conduct at the time, and if any, what they did about it. Here’s their statement for now, to ESPN: “This story came to our attention tonight 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. While these two individuals are no longer with the organization, we take issues of sexual harassment seriously and plan to investigate the matter.”
Porter, who had been an assistant GM with the Diamondbacks before being hired by the Mets earlier this offseason, was also considered by outsiders to be a candidate for the Cubs’ own open GM job.
The full ESPN report is here, and I’ll need a minute to digest. I hate that this woman had to experience what she experienced, and the impact it had on her life and her career. Keep that part in mind as you read.
UPDATE: Porter has been fired by the Mets.