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New York Mets face alarming allegations of ‘toxic workplace’, sexual harassment in new report

Matt Johnson

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The New York Mets entered 2021 with excitement after Steve Cohen took over as owner and the club acquired Francisco Lindor. Just as things started getting better on the diamond, troubling reports have emerged detailing a toxic workplace in the Mets’ organization.

One of Cohen’s first moves on the job was bringing back Sandy Alderson as president of baseball operations. Shortly after Alderson was hired, he brought in Jared Porter as the club’s general manager. Just a month after he joined New York’s front office, ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Mina Kimes reported that Porter sexually harassed a female reporter with unsolicited, explicit messages and images.

The Mets fired him days later, but the revelations about issues within the Mets’ organization didn’t stop. Mickey Callaway, New York’s skipper for the 2018-’19 seasons, was accused of sexual harassment. While the Mets didn’t bring him back in 2020, he was hired by Alderson. In February, the Mets fired hitting coordinator Ryan Ellis after three women came forward with allegations.

Related: New York Mets fire Ryan Ellis after multiple incidents of sexual harassment

Now, just a few weeks into the 2021 season, the Mets are facing even more alarming accusations that detail a troubling culture inside the organization that still exists even after the recent headlines.

Latest allegations against New York Mets

The Athletic’s Katie Strang and Brittany Ghirolli released an in-depth story on Friday details personal accounts of the toxic culture in New York. The Mets’ organization is facing numerous allegations, with both men and women coming forward to disclose the problems they have experienced or witnessed in the building.

The story details how the Mets would receive complaints about sexual harassment in the workplace and inappropriate behavior that made employees feel extremely uncomfortable. But, according to multiple people who spoke to The Athletic, none of the complaints submitted were ever acted on and it created an alarming environment.

One former Mets’ staffer, who has worked in baseball for over a decade, described the situation as everyone being pawns in a “toxic workplace.” Another employee who used to work for the club told The Athletic the thinking back to the experiences gives them a bit of PTSD.

Experiences detail not only some of the executives who sexually harassed women working in the building but how the club’s human resources department did little to create a safe environment.

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More than a dozen people spoke to The Athletic and shared that Holly Lindvall, the club’s senior vice president of human resources and diversity, knew of the harassment allegations and did nothing. Those same former staffers believe that Lindvall was only looking out for ownership and prominent figures in the Mets’ organization.

Allegations against Callaway and Ellis were already known. But women also disclosed that former marketing staffer Joe DeVito and chief marketing, content and communications officer David Newman also committed sexual harassment.

DeVito, who left the team this offseason, faced accusations from multiple women who went to the organization to report him. He was accused of repeatedly making unwanted advances towards different women, including via text message, and even joked about his advances by saying, “At least I am not as creepy as Mickey. #goals.”

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Newman is facing multiple accusations of making inappropriate comments about women’s appearances during his time with the club from 2005-’18. When Alderson returned as vice president this winter, two female employees warned him about Newman. Just weeks into the job, Alderson rehired Newman anyways.

Alderson responded to The Athletic’s story, chastising the reporters for what he viewed as an unfair characterization of how the Mets are handling allegations.

Cohen recently hired a law firm to review the Mets’ workplace culture, specifically emphasizing sexual harassment and misconduct.