Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hugging a Coworker Gets You Fired, Fucking One Gets You a Vacation

At least at Bristol, Connecticut.

Former Mets GM and current Baseball Tonight contributor Steve Phillips had sex with an ESPN employee who subsequently went crazy when he broke off the relationship. At first Brooke Hundley allegedly hired a woman on craigslist to call Steve's wife. When that didn't work Brooke cyberstalked the family then visited the Phillips home to drop off a letter, prompting Mrs. Philips to call the police. At that point Steve admitted to the affair. He is currently taking a "leave of absence" from the network through the MLB playoffs. Though Steve's vacation is likely encouraged by ESPN there's nothing official to indicate ESPN has disciplined Phillips. Does he still receive benefits? Does Steve get paid during his absence? Counseling?

In July 2006 Harold Reynolds, who at the time also appeared on Baseball Tonight, was terminated by ESPN after hugging a female employee. The company deemed his overall behavior, which allegedly involved female workers on multiple occasions, a pattern of sexual harassment. Reynolds later sued ESPN for wrongful termination and the case was settled.

Now, sexual harassment and consensual relations are two wholly different matters. If Reynolds was too assertive around female coworkers then he was rightly fired. But if that's the case Steve Phillips also deserves the ax. It's an egregious violation of almost every corporate policy for an authority figure (which Phillips is as a television talent) to have sexual relations with a worker. Brooke was a production assistant, sometimes on shows that featured Phillips.

Also Steve Phillips has a history of sexual misconduct. Back in the 1990s he admitted to carrying multiple affairs with Mets employees while he was the general manager.

Steve Phillips had sex with a subordinate, failed to report the laison until it became a dangerous situation for his family and subsequently embarrassed himself, his family and the company in the ensuing fallout. Inexplicably in this case ESPN seems to tolerate such wretched behavior.

Sunday, October 04, 2009