The Cleveland Indians and Major League Baseball were accused in a new report Tuesday of likely knowing about the sexual harassment allegations involving Mickey Callaway long before they surfaced last month.
Callaway is the pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels and the former manager for the New York Mets. He was suspended last month after The Athletic reported that he had been accused of inappropriate behavior toward several women who work in sports media.
On Tuesday, The Athletic cited more than 20 sources who said top Indians officials and MLB knew of Callaway’s behavior when he was with the team. Callaway was the team’s pitching coach from 2013 to 2017.
According to the new report, Callaway was accused of "sending pornographic material" to a man’s wife. The man’s complaint to the organization’s fan department brought a meeting with Callaway, Indians president Chris Antonetti, manager Terry Francona and general manager Mike Chernoff, according to The Athletic. An MLB security official reportedly contacted the man and said Callaway wanted to "make this all go away."
He is also accused of being aggressive in his pursuit of women, making sexualized comments in the workplace while he was a coach in the minor leagues, flirting with women in the stands before games, and sending explicit photos and videos, among other allegations.
While with the Mets, Callaway reportedly earned the nickname "D--k pic Mick" as he allegedly aggressively pursued multiple women in sports media.
Antonetti told reporters on Feb. 4 after the initial report he didn’t know of any complaints against Callaway.
"There had never been any complaints against Mickey in his time with us, either to me or to our human resources department or other leaders," he said.
The Athletic reported that Callaway’s actions would have made it "difficult" for them to go unnoticed and sources told the publication that it wouldn’t have caught anyone by surprise. One source went so far as to describe Callaway’s actions as "the worst-kept secret in the organization."
The Indians told The Athletic: "In June of 2017, we received reports from a man alleging extramarital contact between Mickey and his wife over a two-year period. Within days of the report, we spoke with Mickey about the alleged behavior, and he maintained that the relationship was consensual and outside of the workplace. Following our conversation with Mickey and to our knowledge, there were no further complaints of misconduct from this person during Mickey’s tenure with the club."
The team denied being in contact with a lawyer who talked with a woman about Callaway’s behavior.
Callaway also gave a statement to The Athletic.
"While much of the reporting around my behavior has been inaccurate, the truth is that on multiple occasions I have been unfaithful to my wife, and for that I am deeply sorry. What I have never done is use my position to harass or pressure a woman," he said. "I am confident that I have never engaged in anything that was non-consensual. I feel truly blessed that my wife and children have stuck with me as the most personal and embarrassing details of my infidelities have been revealed. I will continue to work as hard as I can to repair the rift of trust that I have caused inside of my family."
Since then, MLB has instituted a hotline for those not employed by the league or teams to report harassment or discrimination. The league’s code of conduct says that those experiencing harassment have "no requirement to confront an alleged wrongdoer; however, victims of inappropriate conduct may attempt to resolve issues or disagreements on their own if they choose." If those attempts are unsuccessful, the code urges the victims to make MLB or the team aware.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.