MLB Updates Code of Conduct Regarding Harassment and Discrimination Following Allegations

Major League Baseball has updated its code of conduct regarding harassment and discrimination and has also established an anonymous tip line in the wake of recent stories detailing alleged harassment by fired New York Mets general manager Jared Porter , and the Los Angeles Angels pitching coach currently suspended. Mickey Callaway.

The code of conduct, spearheaded by new MLB director of personnel and culture, Michele Meyer-Shipp, promises that “all MLB and Club personnel will be held responsible for inappropriate conduct, regardless of seniority, rank or height. “according to the documents obtained. on ESPN on Tuesday.

In a statement, MLB said it is “committed to ensuring that all people who work in and around the game are welcomed and treated equally, with dignity, respect and professionalism. To achieve this goal, MLB and its clubs will continue to strive to creating environments where people feel safe and accepted, and when they don’t, they feel comfortable speaking out without fear of recrimination, retaliation or exclusion. “

MLB’s anonymous hotline, called “Speak Up,” will be operated by an outside third party, and its content will be investigated by the relevant team or the commissioner’s office, depending on the nature of the allegation. A flyer to be posted on the walls of every major league clubhouse this season outlines three steps for those with information about sexual misconduct and states that “if a violation is found to have occurred, corrective action will be taken. Depending on the severity of the situation, corrective action may take the form of a warning, suspension, termination of employment or any other measure available to a Club or the Commissioner. “

The league also sent a memorandum to teams requiring anti-harassment and discrimination training to be completed by the five highest-ranking baseball operations staff and five highest-ranking business employees before the end of March, a source to ESPN. He also encouraged teams to adopt annual training in a similar format for all non-player personnel; The teams already hold seminars on sexual harassment and domestic violence for major leaguers every spring training. Previously, the league required teams to undergo anti-harassment and discrimination training at least every three years from 2018 to 2020, but did not specify senior leadership and did not establish a general approach to education.

On January 18, ESPN reported a series of explicit and unsolicited text messages that Porter sent to a reporter in 2016 while working for the Chicago Cubs, one of which included an image of an erect penis. Porter recognized the text messages and was fired the next day by the Mets.

Two weeks later, The Athletic published a report in which five women in sports media accused Callaway of inappropriate conduct that included sending him shirtless photos, a request for nude photos and other advances, prompting the Angels to suspend him. in the middle of an ongoing investigation. Callaway, a source said, initially denied any wrongdoing.

Various teams, notably the Mets, Cleveland Indians and Cubs, who previously employed Porter or Callaway or both, have been working on ways to update their investigative process and install new protocols in the wake of those reports.

Meyer-Shipp, who was hired in August after serving as director of diversity and inclusion at accounting firm KPMG, is also reviewing the “Selig Rule” that urged teams to consider minorities for prominent positions.

The new code of conduct emphasizes inclusion, acceptance and equality, defines harassment and discrimination, and encourages league employees to report lewd behavior. The flyer states that reports of misconduct “will be kept confidential to the extent possible for a full investigation and permitted by law” and called retaliation against such complaints “a serious violation.”

“Harassment and discrimination have no place in the Major Leagues,” the league said as part of its statement. “We are grateful for the courage of the women who have shared their stories, and we believe that open dialogue is an important part of progress. We must work to build an even playing field for everyone involved in our game.”

Athletic first reported on the new league policies.


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