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Mets fire general manager after report of unsolicited text messages to female reporter
The New York Mets fired General Manager Jared Porter on Tuesday after ESPN reported that Porter sent dozens of unsolicited text messages, including a nude photo, to a female reporter in 2016.
Mets' owner Steven Cohen announced Porter's firing about a month after the general manager was hired.
"We have terminated Jared Porter this morning," Cohen said in a tweet. "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."
The team's president, Sandy Alderson, said in a statement that Porter's firing was "effective immediately."
"Jared's actions, as reflected by events disclosed last night, failed to meet the Mets' standards for professionalism and personal conduct," he said.
ESPN reported Monday night that Porter and the reporter met one time while he worked as the director of professional scouting for the Chicago Cubs and she was covering baseball as a foreign correspondent in the U.S.
The unidentified woman, who told ESPN she had a limited understanding of English and American customs, said she thought she was developing a source relationship before the texts turned sexual.
She said she ignored more than 60 messages from Porter in the summer of 2016 before he sent the nude photo.
The messages reportedly stopped after she showed them to an interpreter and player from her country who helped her draft a response that said, "This is extremely inappropriate, very offensive, and getting out of line. Could you please stop sending offensive photos or msg."
ESPN said it obtained the text messages in 2017 but did not report them because the woman was afraid of retribution from Porter. The woman, who has since left journalism, permitted the network's report if she could remain anonymous due to potential repercussions in her home country, it added.
Porter, who was hired on Dec. 13, told ESPN that "the more explicit" photos he sent "are not of me," instead being "kinda like joke-stock images."
The Cubs said in a statement obtained by The Hill that the ESPN report "came to our attention" Monday night 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 abhorrent behavior is in violation of our code of conduct," the team said. "While these two individuals are no longer with the organization, we take issues of sexual harassment seriously and plan to investigate the matter."
Alderson, the president of the Mets, also said in an earlier statement that the team was "made aware" of the unsolicited texts for the first time on Monday.
"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," he said.
"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," he added, according to The New York Times.
Porter has also worked with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Boston Red Sox.
Updated at 10:43 a.m.