Women's Issues

Sports World Continues To Sh*t On Women, This Time By Firing One For Being Pregnant And Single

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Allen And Company Annual Meeting Draws Top Business Leaders To Sun Valley, IdahoThe first female senior vice president in the Mets’ 52-year-history claims she was fired because the team’s CEO was “morally opposed” to her being pregnant and unwed. Fantastic. As if any of us are looking towards the sports industry to be a moral compass. I’m not surprised the CEO thought he could get away with this behavior. I guess he thought his actions would go unnoticed — not a bad guess considering how much the sports world gets away with in regards to their treatment of issues affecting women lately.

Leigh Castergine claims in a lawsuit she filed this week in Brooklyn, New York, that she was “humiliated” and ultimately fired for having a child out of wedlock. She alleges that Jeff Wilpon, Mets’ COO and son of the company’s principal owner, not only made humiliating statements about her and her situation, but his feelings about her pregnancy ultimately got her fired. What year is it again?

The Washington Post has some of the allegations from the suit:

Wilpon told another Mets employee that he is “old fashioned and thinks [Castergine] should be married before having a baby.”
Wilpon leaned over Castergine at a meeting and checked to see if she was wearing an engagement ring.
At another meeting, Wilpon announced “two rules” regarding Castergine’s pregnancy: “Don’t touch her belly and don’t ask how she’s doing; she’s not sick, she’s pregnant.”

In a conversation about her bonus, Wilpon told Castergine that she should tell her boyfriend to give her a ring, so that she could make more money.
At a meeting involving several senior executives, during a discussion about whether to accept advertising from an e-cigarette company, Wilpon said, “I am as morally opposed to putting an e-cigarette sign in my ballpark as I am to Leigh having this baby without being married.”

What do you think the chances are that Wilpon would have an opinion of a single father in his midst? I’m going to go with nil. I think the chances are nil that Wilpon would care at all if a man in his company claimed to be fathering a child out of wedlock.

Her suit also alleges that after she went to human resources to complain about the behavior, the team started raising “issues” with her performance. If anyone is under the impression that human resources exists for employees — you are sorely mistaken. Human resources exists to cover the asses of companies under the guise that the department cares about employees.

This is an important lawsuit — and women who deal with this brand of harassment are everywhere. Castergine was ultimately fired, but there are plenty of women out there who deal with judgment and latent sexist comments in the workplace on a daily basis. I hope she gets a lot of money from this franchise. There needs to be a message sent — loud and clear — that says, WE DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT YOU THINK OF OUR PREGNANCIES, OUR LIFE CHOICES, THE WAY OUR BODIES CHANGE, OR OUR MARITAL STATUS. IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ACT THIS WAY IN A PROFESSIONAL SETTING, NO MATTER HOW RICH YOU ARE, HOW “IMPORTANT” YOU ARE, OR WHO YOUR DADDY IS.

(photo: Getty Images)