“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,” Mets owner Steve Cohen said on Tuesday.
Former Cubs pro scouting director and Mets’ general manager Jared Porter has been fired after a report by ESPN on Monday uncovered that Porter sent an unsolicited explicit photo to a female reporter in 2016.
According to the report, the reporter told ESPN she received over 60 unanswered text messages from Porter before receiving several explicit photos from the former Mets’ executive. The reporter, who came forward under the condition of anonymity, considered alerting the Cubs, but decided against it for fear of retribution in the industry.
“We have terminated Jared Porter this morning,” Mets owner Steve Cohen via Twitter on Tuesday. “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.”
We have terminated General Manager Jared Porter, effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/eD0ifVJ0eH
— New York Mets (@Mets) January 19, 2021
“My number one motivation is I want to prevent this from happening to someone else,” the woman told ESPN. “Obviously he’s in a much greater position of power. I want to prevent that from happening again. The other thing is I never really got the notion that he was truly sorry.”
After ESPN reached Porter for comment, the former Mets’ general manager admitted to having a text exchange with the woman, and after learning the messages and photos were obtained by ESPN, he stated, “the more explicit ones are not of me. Those are like, kinda like joke-stock images.”
“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,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said in a statement to ESPN.
“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.”
The Mets decision to fire Porter came quickly, but it was one that had to be made.
Porter, 41, was hired by the Mets for the GM opening in December and was previously with the Arizona Diamondbacks as their assistant GM. Before his Diamondbacks tenure, Porter worked with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer with the Red Sox starting in 2004 before joining the duo in Chicago in 2015.
Porter was thought to be on the shortlist to become the next Cubs’ general manager after president Jed Hoyer was promoted, but was hired by the Mets.
“This story came to our attention tonight, and we are not aware of this incident ever being reported to the organization,” the Cubs said in a statement to ESPN on Monday.
“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.” The second person referenced in the Cubs’ statement is a former employee who tried to broker an apology from Porter, according to the ESPN report.