The Mets offseason goodwill ended Monday night when ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Minka Kimes reported about then-Chicago Cubs assistant general manager Jared Porter sending 62 unsolicited texts and a picture of his private part to a foreign reporter that used to cover Major League Baseball years ago.
Mets owner Steve Cohen tweeted to Mets fans that he fired Porter as the Mets general manager on Tuesday morning. It was the only thing he could have done here. Porter knew he was done, too as soon as the report and evidence came out.
If his bosses wouldn’t fire him, Major League Baseball would make sure he would be gone.
So much story has been made about Porter that we forget the main issue at hand here: Female media members continue to be treated with disrespect because of their gender and looks.
They get harassed and laughed at by players, front office officials, and even male media members; Porter’s incident with the reporter is nothing new.
One would think it would end a long, long time ago, especially in the MeToo movement. Unfortunately, this hasn’t ended just like domestic violence, racism, bullying, and hate. One must wonder if it will ever end.
I keep thinking people would evolve and mature after being educated for years. But this obviously hasn’t been the case.
Porter was not a kid back then. He should know better than to engage with a journalist and try to be friendly.
I won’t pretend to know what was he thinking then. But I do know this: There’s no way a player or a front-office official should be this friendly with a journalist no matter the gender. For a grown adult to send 62 texts and his private part picture to a person who had no interest in talking to him, he may have serious problems that he let on.
He put on quite a hubris by doing that with the idea no one will ever find out. It came back to him, and he got what he deserved. He fooled everyone from the Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, Steve Cohen, and the New York Mets.
Harassment happens quite too common with female journalists. I remembered then-Star Tribune Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s basketball beat writer Amelia Rayno being harassed by then-Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague such as getting texts a la Jared Porter style. Then I recalled long-time Star Tribune sportswriter Rachel Blount would be harassed by then-North Stars owner Norm Green.
Back in the day, baseball players would taunt female baseball writers for going to the locker room for an interview. Some would question their credentials about the sport. Shoot, there were times players would show their private parts to them for yucks.
Disgraced then-New York Daily News Jets beat writer Manish Mehta would harass female journalists such as then-Star-Ledger Jets beat writer Jenny Vrentas and then-Newsday beat writer Kimberly A. Martin for the way they were doing their jobs and being in his turf when interviewing players.
We keep waiting for all this to end, but we have to wonder if it ever will. For this to keep going on even now is troubling.
Female journalists work as hard as male journalists when it comes to covering sports. They should be treated with respect for that. They should be treated as people, not as sexual objects. They should be treated like how a human being should be treated.
For anyone that said this female journalist had an agenda going by trying to screw Porter’s career after keeping it quiet so long, just stop. Porter should have never been in this position in the first place. He knows right from wrong, and he decided to do it anymore. He kept doing it after this person refused his request consistently.
Teams try hard to make sure female journalists are being protected and taken care of, but no matter. Players, team officials, and others find a way to bother them and play with their emotions. Porter’s incident brings a fresh reminder of the fratboy atmosphere in locker rooms and the press box has been alive and well.
Hard to feel bad for Porter since he has no one to blame but himself that his Major League Baseball career is over. He could always apply to Dominican Professional Baseball League or Nippon Professional Baseball.
The Mets can always find the next young general manager that has a scouting and sabermetric background, so they will be okay.
Feel bad for Porter’s victim. She moved on from the journalism industry in fear of retribution not to mention being tired of the harassment that comes from others. She got denied of doing a dream job just because of her gender. Sure she moved on to finance and she is making money, but this obviously was not what she envisioned as her goals.
Maybe one day enough will be enough when the bullying and harassment stop.
We shouldn’t hope for or dream that day will happen. We should expect it and demand it.
Featured Image: AP/ZOOM