Sports | February 17, 2021 11:55 am

Latest Firing Indicates New York Mets Have an Institutional Problem With Sexual Misconduct

The Mets quietly parted ways with Ryan Ellis in the wake of the firing of GM Jared Porter

Latest Firing Indicates New York Mets Have an Institutional Problem With Sexual Misconduct
Mr. Met mascot performs during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.
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Though none of the alleged misbehavior came on his watch, freshly minted New York Mets owner Steve Cohen appears to have paid more than $2 billion for a franchise with an institutional problem with sexual misconduct.

Since the multi-billionaire reached an agreement to buy the Mets in September, the team has been forced to fire the first big hiring of Cohen’s tenure as owner, former general manager Jared Porter, for sending more than 60 unanswered text messages (including some explicit images) to a female reporter in 2016.

Following Porter’s firing, five women in sports media came forward with similar accusations against former Mets manager and current Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who has since been suspended by Los Angeles pending an investigation.

According to The Athletic, Callaway is not the only man with ties to the Mets to have his past behaviors brought into the spotlight in the wake of New York firing Porter. Following the termination of Porter last month, the team also quietly parted ways with hitting performance coordinator Ryan Ellis, who had been with the organization since 2006.

In the summer of 2018, three women who worked for or had previously been employed by the Mets reported inappropriate behavior by Ellis to a member of the team’s human resources department.

Ellis, who served as the team’s major league hitting coordinator last season, was accused of making sexually suggestive comments, sending unwanted text messages that were sexual in nature and telling one of the women he wanted “to put her up against a wall.”

Contacted by The Athletic about the complaints made against Ellis, the Mets said the organization initiated an investigation into the 2018 allegations of inappropriate conduct which resulted in the team disciplining the 42-year-old, putting him on probation and ordering him into counseling.

So, why fire Ellis now?

“On January 19 of this year, following the termination of Jared Porter, we received new information regarding conduct of the disciplined employee in the 2017-2018 timeframe,” the Mets said in a statement. “We immediately commenced a new investigation and terminated the employee on January 22 for violating company policy and failure to meet the Mets’ standards for professionalism and personal conduct.”

The Mets did not elaborate on the “new information” that was received last month, and a cynical person might think there actually was no new information and the organization was just getting ahead of the past allegations coming to light and firing Ellis proactively.

Whether that’s the case or not, Cohen’s ownership group should be commended for having a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct and acting quickly when substantiated allegations surface. Unfortunately, it may become commonplace, as the Mets appear to have an institutional problem with sexual misconduct, and more allegations could be coming down the line.