Former Cubs executive and newly hired Mets general manager Jared Porter has been fired for sending a series of explicit, unsolicited lewd texts to a female reporter in 2016, in the wake of an ESPN report late on Monday night.
Mets owner Steve Cohen tweeted the announcement on Tuesday morning:
According to the joint report from Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan, the text messages had culminated with Porter sending a photo of an erect, naked penis. The female reporter was a foreign correspondent, and she ignored more than 60 text messages in a row from Porter at one point before the inappropriate lewd photo was sent, ESPN reported.
When the incidents started, Porter was working as the Cubs’ director of professional scouting. What was at first a casual exchange of messages turned into Porter “complimenting her appearance, inviting her to meet him in various cities and asking why she was ignoring him,” according to the report.
The woman “stopped responding to Porter after he sent a photo of pants featuring a bulge in the groin area,” ESPN reported, but he kept sending unsolicited messages after that.
The 41-year-old Porter admitted to texting the woman when contacted by ESPN. He claimed the explicit photos weren’t of himself, saying they were “kinda like joke-stock images,” ESPN reported.
The woman has since left the profession.
"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.”
Mets president Sandy Alderson released a statement to ESPN indicating Monday was the first the organization knew of Porter’s actions.
"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,” Alderson told 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."
Upset by the situation, the woman – with the help of a lawyer – got in touch with the Cubs during their playoff run in 2016. She met an employee from the Cubs who was from her home country, who “encouraged her use the situation to her advantage,” ESPN reported. The Cubs employee responded that he “was just listening to both” the woman and Porter.
“I didn’t want to be on one side,” the Cubs employee was quoted as saying by ESPN.
ESPN didn’t identify the Cubs employee. The Cubs did release a statement to ESPN.
"This story came to our attention tonight, and we are not aware of this incident ever being reported to the organization,” the Cubs said.
"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."
After the Cubs won the championship in 2016, Porter left to join the Diamondbacks organization. The Cubs had hired Porter in 2015.