Washington Nationals commentator off air following sexual assault allegations

Sep 11, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; A Washington Nationals logo is seen in front of cutouts of fans in the seats during the third inning of the game between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Color commentator F.P. Santangelo, a former major-league infielder, has been pulled from Washington Nationals broadcasts following allegations of inappropriate behavior that included sexual misconduct, multiple outlets reported.

Santangelo has been on and off the air since April 30 and was not part of the team that called the Nationals’ 4-3 loss to the New York Yankees in extra innings on Saturday.

Allegations from an anonymous woman were posted on social media recently. The same woman, who is 31, also told The Athletic that Santangelo, 53, made an “unwanted advance” many years ago and she repeatedly told him to stop. She alleged he sexually assaulted her.

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“Late last week, we were made aware of allegations of conduct by F.P. Santangelo that are inconsistent with our values as an organization,” the Nationals said in a statement issued Saturday. “We alerted (Mid-Atlantic Sports Network) and revoked our approval of him as a member of our broadcast team. MASN assured us that they would investigate these allegations thoroughly.

“After MASN notified us that their investigation was complete and that F.P. should be reinstated, additional posts appeared. Once again, we notified MASN and revoked our approval of F.P. as a member of our broadcast team indefinitely. Moving forward, we will refer all questions regarding this investigation to F.P.’s employer, MASN.”

In a text message sent to media outlets, Santangelo denied the allegations.

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“What I have read in a recently published article from an anonymous individual about me is untrue and did not happen,” Santangelo said. “This is not representative of who I am as a man or a professional. I am confident that my name and reputation will be fully cleared.”

MASN has forwarded the allegations to MLB for review, which is league policy, the network said in a statement.

Santangelo has worked for MASN on Nationals games since 2011. A utilityman, he played in 665 games over seven seasons in the majors, starting with the Montreal Expos (1995-98), followed by stints with the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics. He had a career average of .245 and drove in 162 runs.

–Field Level Media