The Mets have fired general manager Jared Porter after it was reported on Monday that he sent multiple explicit and unsolicited images to a female reporter in 2016.
Mets owner Steve Cohen announced on social media the club's decision to terminate Porter early Tuesday morning.
"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," Cohen said.
According to ESPN's Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan, Porter, who worked as a scouting executive with the Cubs at the time, began a texting conversation with a foreign correspondent who moved to the United States to cover MLB. The woman met Porter at Yankee Stadium in June 2016, exchanging business cards after a brief conversation regarding international prospects. Porter then invited the reporter to meet him for a drink the next night. After the reporter declined to meet with Porter, he began a string of over 60 unsolicited texts.
Porter's pursuit of the reporter continued in August. He reportedly sent 17 photos asking her to meet him in Los Angeles, with the final photo reportedly showing his "bare penis."
The female reporter responded to Porter's explicit message with the help of a player from her home country, per Kimes and Passan. With the help of an interpreter, she wrote, "this is extremely inappropriate, very offensive, and getting out of line. Could you please stop sending offensive photos or [messages]?" Porter then apologized and added he would stop the messages.
Porter acknowledged texting the reporter photos reached by ESPN on Monday. He claimed the explicit photos were "not of me," adding they were "joke-stock images."
"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," Mets president Sandy Alderson told ESPN on Monday night. "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."
ESPN obtained the explicit messages sent by Porter in December 2017. The outlet then reached out to the woman in question, who originally did not want the story to be released due to concerns for her career. In recent days, she "decided to come forward only on the condition of anonymity because she fears backlash in her home country," per ESPN.
The Mets hired Porter, 41, as their general manager in December after he spent four seasons as the Diamondbacks' assistant general manager.