July 23, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Angels suspend Mickey Callaway following lewd behavior report

The Angels suspended pitching coach Mickey Callaway on Tuesday until they complete an investigation of his behavior after an online publication reported multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him.

The Athletic reported on Monday that Callaway, 45, was accused of making inappropriate advances toward at least five women in the sports media industry over the course of about five years when he was employed by the Angels, the New York Mets and the Cleveland Indians. According to the women, Callaway used electronic messaging to send shirtless photos of himself, request nude photos in return, compliment the appearance of some women and generally take advantage of a power imbalance. One accuser said he offered to provide her with information about the Mets if she met him for drinks.

“Late yesterday we were made aware of the allegations reported in The Athletic. This morning we suspended Mickey Callaway, and will work closely with MLB to conduct a full investigation,” the Angels said in a statement Tuesday.

Although the allegations were not made public until Monday, Callaway’s behavior toward women has long been an open secret, according to many in the media. For years, women around the sport have warned one another of the potential of becoming one of his targets.

But that knowledge didn’t appear to reach many team officials. According to The Athletic’s report, the Mets were the only employer of Callaway to receive notice of a complaint against him. The Mets said they investigated the claim in August 2018. The Mets declined to reveal the particulars of the incident, which they told The Athletic took place before Callaway was hired as manager in October 2017. Callaway finished the season and stayed on for another campaign before his performance-related firing in October 2019.

Angels manager Joe Maddon, one of multiple decision makers who approved adding Callaway to the Angels coaching staff ahead of the 2020 season, was surprised to learn of the allegations against Callaway. Asked by The Times’ Mike DiGiovanna whether he had previously heard complaints of Callaway’s behavior, Maddon said, “Never. Never. No.”

Callaway’s suspension comes two weeks after the Mets dismissed general manager Jared Porter because of sexual harassment allegations made against him. Porter sent a string of unsolicited inappropriate text messages to a female reporter, according to a report from ESPN. Both Porter and Callaway were hired by Sandy Alderson, the current president of the Mets who was GM when Callaway became the team’s manager.

In a statement released by the Mets, Alderson said, “I was unaware of the conduct described in the story at the time of Mickey’s hire or at any time during my tenure as general manager.”

Callaway responded to the allegations in an email to The Athletic.

“Rather than rush to respond to these general allegations of which I have just been made aware, I look forward to an opportunity to provide more specific responses,” he wrote, according to the report. “Any relationship in which I was engaged has been consensual, and my conduct was in no way intended to be disrespectful to any women involved. I am married and my wife has been made aware of these general allegations.”

Times staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report.