Cleveland 'Committed' to Creating Inclusive Environment After Callaway Report

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 2, 2021

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, left, and pitching coach Mickey Callaway talk before practice starts at the Indians baseball spring training facility Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Cleveland's MLB team expressed a commitment to creating an inclusive environment on Tuesday only hours after a new report from The Athletic's Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang detailed additional allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women by former pitching coach Mickey Callaway.

Ghiroli and Strang first reported on Callaway's alleged lewd behavior on Feb. 1. after which his current organization, the Los Angeles Angels, suspended him pending an investigation involving Major League Baseball. 

In their latest report released Tuesday, Ghiroli and Strang noted while Cleveland president Chris Antonetti  stated last month that he was unaware of Callaway's behavior, evidence points to Antonetti having been involved in discussions concerning at least one allegation in 2017:

"An angry husband repeatedly called the team's fan services department to complain that Callaway had sent 'pornographic material' to his wife. Those calls were brought to the attention of Antonetti, manager Terry Francona and general manager Mike Chernoff; the Indians spoke with Callaway about the matter. A Cleveland attorney spoke with the wife and said – in a phone call that was recorded – that Callaway had expressed remorse to him. The attorney added that 'the Indians are frickin' pissed as hell' at Callaway and offered to have Francona call the husband." 

Callaway was hired as the New York Mets manager in 2018—a position he held for two seasons. 

The Athletic has spoken with 22 people who interacted with Callaway during his time in Cleveland in addition to the initial five women who first came forward with allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior in February. One of the new sources directly refuted Antonetti's initial statement that he had never been made aware of any complaints against Callaway. 

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"I laughed out loud when I saw the quote that said it was the worst-kept secret in baseball, because it was," a Cleveland employee said. "It was the worst-kept secret in the organization."

The statement released by Cleveland on Tuesday made clear the organization is aiming to create a more inclusive environment and asked for the franchise to be judged on its actions. However, the statement did not include any mention of what steps it would take to ensure a safer workplace or how any changes would be enforced.