Mets General Manager Jared Porter has been fired after he was exposed to be sexually harassing a foreign female reporter via text message. This news was broken in an article by ESPN’s Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan, where Porter acknowledges sending “explicit, unsolicited texts and images to a female reporter” in 2016.
Porter was the director of professional scouting with the Chicago Cubs when he met the reporter, who exchanged business cards with him, thinking it could be a beneficial and professional relationship for her career. Porter texted her the day they met multiple times asking to get a drink. She agreed, thinking that he could be another person to discuss baseball with. The plans fell through, but Porter kept on texting with no response and saying: “You’re so pretty” and “Do you have a boyfriend yet?”, with a selfie and another text saying “It can be me!” The reporter, being from another country, with limited understanding of American language and culture said that she “would’ve definitely realized sooner what was going on” if she had more of a grasp on it. Eventually she responded out of courtesy, to avoid awkwardness, and Porter took it as an opportunity to send multiple photos, including one of a man laying on a bed with a bulge in his pants that Porter denies is of him. The next message seems to rebuke that claim, as Porter followed the photo asking “Like?” The reporter did not understand the nature of the photo until later, and once she did, she immediately tried to stop communicating with Porter.
Porter then sent 62 texts to the woman, all of which were left unanswered. Those 62 unanswered messages from July 19 to August 10, 2016 were inappropriate enough, but on August 11th, Porter sent her 17 images including a photo of his naked penis. He kept on sending messages sporadically, and eventually the reporter replied to him, saying: “This is extremely inappropriate, very offensive, and getting out of line. Could you please stop sending offensive photos or msg.” Porter then replied with 3 messages in the line of an apology, and the next day sent another “I’m sorry” and a photo of Dodger Stadium. This was his final text to her.
The woman decided against reporting the situation to the Cubs, for fear of repercussions that would affect her career. The most terrible part of the situation is that Porter had a big part of pushing this woman out of sports. She has now left the sports industry and returned to her home country to work in finance, realizing that experiencing situations like the one she experienced with Porter was simply not worth going through just to make a living.
The Mets made a difficult decision in firing Porter, but it was the right one. In condemning him, the organization acknowledged that Porter used his position and power as a baseball executive to sexually harass a woman into basically leaving sports altogether, and the organization won’t stand for it. Keeping Porter would have shown a basic lack of respect for all women in sports, when the goal should be to bring women into the industry.
This news broke about a week after Porter pulled off possibly the most important acquisition of his career, and probably the biggest one he will ever make, when he traded for star shortstop Francisco Lindor. His career as a renowned front office executive looked to be finally taking off.
I don’t believe in karma, but if I did, Jared Porter was just slapped in the face by it.