The New York Mets have fired newly appointed General Manager Jared Porter after texts were released showing him sending explicit messages and photos to a female reporter in 2016.
Reports of the texts surfaced Monday, which allegedly took place while Porter was the director of professional scouting for the Chicago Cubs. The recipient of the messages said she ignored more than 60 texts, and at one point, received 17 photos from Porter at once.
Porter initially said he had sent the reporter messages but did not send any photos. He later said pictures of himself that were surfacing were just “stock photos” he sent as a joke.
Mets President Sandy Alderson released a statement on the matter, saying in part, “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.” He added, “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.”
While the female reporter’s identity is still unknown, she reportedly had concerns about sharing her story and its effects on her career if she spoke out. The reporter is said to be a foreign correspondent who had recently moved to the U.S. to cover MLB. As a result, this reporter eventually moved back home and stopped pursuing journalism altogether.
Although Porter was now with the Mets, the Cubs also said they did not know about the incident prior. However, the reporter claims she told a Cubs employee about Porter’s behavior during the 2016 postseason when the text exchanges took place. She says the Cubs employee told her to “use the situation to her advantage” and repeatedly followed up to question if the reporter would take legal action against Porter.
The Mets just hired on Porter in December, and it seems only fitting this would be a decision that would be quickly overturned by the organization. Fans will recall the Mets reversed another front-office hire in Carlos Beltran, just two months after naming him to the manager position due to his prominent role in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal.
While the two situations are not exactly similar, they both reveal a lack of judgment and a lack of what is morally and ethically right. Unfortunately, Porter’s actions are seen time and time again to be women’s experience in sports. Like what ultimately happened here, the victim will often step away from the industry entirely. Meanwhile, like Porter, men in sports will continue to work their way up the front-office ladder, as he has continued to do since this incident took place in 2016.
While this issue did not involve the game of baseball itself, some problems are more significant than baseball and bigger than sports in general. It was clear MLB and the Mets wanted to make a statement that holds weight, and firing Porter before making any real impact on the Mets organization, was that decision.