Major League Baseball has moved swiftly to update its workplace code of conduct in the wake of sexual harassment allegations surrounding Jared Porter and Mickey Callaway.
As first reported by The Athletic and confirmed by an industry source, the revised code of conduct outlines specific repercussions — “a warning, a suspension, termination of employment, or any other measures available to a Club or the Commissioner” — for those who behave “contrary to MLB’s Principles.” This language will be detailed on a flier to be posted in every team’s clubhouse. The MLB Players Association has signed off on this significant modification.
In addition to more specific consequences for rule-breakers, MLB will provide an anonymous hotline, run by a third party, where incidents of harassment can be reported. Moreover, team executives will undergo “anti-harassment and discrimination training” during spring training.
On Jan. 18, ESPN reported that Porter, who had been hired as the Mets general manager the previous month, had sent a flurry of lewd, unsolicited text messages to a female reporter while he worked as a Cubs executive in 2016. Porter quickly admitted to his wrongdoing, and the Mets fired him for cause the next day.
On Feb. 1, The Athletic reported that the Angels pitching coach Callaway had communicated improperly with five different female media members, two while he was the Indians’ pitching coach (a job he held from 2013-17) and three more while he managed the Mets (2018-19). Callaway has denied the allegations, so the Angels have suspended him while they and MLB investigate, an endeavor that shouldn’t take too much longer given the mountain of evidence in the story.
MLB’s chief of communications Pat Courtney met recently with leaders of the Baseball Writers’ Association of American to discuss the league’s harassment policies. Michele Meyer-Shipp, whom MLB hired last August as its chief people and culture officer, oversaw the policy’s revision.
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