Last month, the New York Mets found themselves embroiled in an ugly situation when the public learned that their newly-hired GM Jared Porter, when he was an executive with the Chicago Cubs, had engaged in an extended period of harassing a reporter via text, including sending her unwanted sexual images. He was soon thereafter fired, and MLB is investigating.
Soon after that, it came out that former Mets manager Mickey Callaway had sexually harassed multiple women in the media while with the team, and with other teams. Now the pitching coach in Anaheim, he has since been suspended by the Angels pending an investigation.
It was a bad stretch for the Mets on the sexual harassment front, and according to a new report from The Athletic, the team responded by – among other things – quietly firing an employee who’d been accused of harassment three years earlier:
Three women accused Mets hitting coordinator Ryan Ellis of sexual harassment in 2018, The Athletic has learned.
The team quietly fired him last month.
“I loved going to work, and then I hated it.” https://t.co/PZXIlcfPOV
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) February 17, 2021
The alleged harassment was ugly, intimidating, and clearly created a terrible work environment for the three women who came forward. Yet Ellis remained with the organization for another three years, and it was only after new information came to light – according to a Mets statement to The Athletic – that they terminated Ellis. It sure feels like the new information was “oh crap, we better go back through old complaints and get rid of anyone before the press finds out,” but I reckon the Mets would dispute that characterization.
Unfortunately, while the trio of recent events all connect to the Mets, we know this problem extends much further in the sport (again, the Porter incident took place while he was with the Cubs, and it makes you question the culture of the front office at that time). That’s why it is important to continue to call this out when we see it. The power dynamics involved make all unwanted sexual advances particularly pernicious, because they can deeply damage a person’s career, and mental/emotional wellbeing in relation to concerns about their career.