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Report: New incident involving Callaway surfaces; Cleveland manager Francona says team didn't cover for anyone

Report: New incident involving Callaway surfaces; Cleveland manager Francona says team didn't cover for anyone

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FILE - Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, left, watches with manager Terry Francona during the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, in Detroit, in this May 3, 2017, file photo. Indians manager Terry Francona said no one in the Cleveland organization “covered up” for former pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who is under investigation by Major League Baseball following allegations of sexual harassment. In a story Tuesday, March 2, 2021, The Athletic reported that 12 current and former Indians employees have come forward in the last month to say the Indians were aware of Callaway’s inappropriate behavior while he was their pitching coach from 2013-17.

Manager Terry Francona says no one within the organization deliberately covered anything up for former pitching coach Mickey Callaway following a report of new allegations of inappropriate behavior during Callaway's time with Cleveland.

A little more than a month ago, a report by The Athletic detailed allegations from five women, all of whom worked in sports media, accusing Callaway of sending inappropriate messages and in at least one case lewd photos.

Cleveland President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti responded to that first report in early Feb., saying he was "distraught" and "disturbed" by the alleged incidents and that, "When I read the article, that was the first time I became aware of the alleged behaviors."

The second report from The Athletic detailed an incident involving Callaway, a woman in Arizona with whom he had an affair and the woman's husband, who allegedly contacted the team and MLB. This new, alleged incident differed from the accusations detailed in the first report in that it did not involve a woman working in sports media or with the team, though it did exhibit a similar pattern of general behavior.

This new report alleges the woman's husband tried to contact the team's human resources department, and that wives of former Cleveland players expressed concern that Callaway was having an extramarital affair.

It does note it is unclear what reached the team's executive suites, particularly in reference to the alleged behaviors directed toward women working in sports media from the first report. The Athletic's report also cites some people who came forward saying that Antonetti was evasive in his comments following the initial allegations.

Callaway, in a statement given to The Athletic, said, "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. 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."

Francona on Tuesday briefly responded to the report that the team knew more than it let on, saying on a Zoom call with reporters, "Nobody’s ever deliberately covered up for anybody, I can tell you that."

"I have never worked in a place where I have more respect for people than here," Francona said "And I’ve been very fortunate to work for some wonderful people. I believe that in my heart. I don’t think today is the day to go into details, things like that. I do hope there is a day, because I think it would be good, and I think it’s necessary."

The team is expected to release a statement within the next few hours. Francona declined to comment much on the subject beyond that until the organization's statement is released.

"Out of respect to that and the Major League Baseball investigation, right now is just not the right time to respond to some of the questions I’m sure you have," Francona said. "I do hope at some point, we are able to, because I think we need to. Just know that we take this very, very serious. I apologize, but that’s where it is today, OK? I just wanted to let you guys know, because I knew there would be questions."

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