Sportsnet terminates Gregg Zaun after allegations of inappropriate behaviour

TORONTO – Blue Jays analyst Gregg Zaun was fired after multiple women at Sportsnet complained about his “inappropriate behaviour and comments” in the workplace, network parent company Rogers Communications Inc., announced Thursday.

The exact nature of the allegations against the former catcher who played 16 seasons in the big-leagues, including five in Toronto, weren’t detailed by the company, but were not of sexual or physical assault. In a statement, Rogers Media president Rick Brace said the complaints were investigated and resulted in the termination of his contract, “effective immediately.”

“The type of behaviour completely contradicts our standards and our core values,” said Brace. “We believe in a professional workplace where all employees feel comfortable and respected. We are grateful to our employees who spoke with us and we will take every measure to protect their privacy.”

When reached via email Thursday night, Zaun declined to comment.

Zaun is the latest in a slew of public figures to either face allegations or be fired over workplace misconduct since a bevy of accusations and investigations into sexual harassment and abuse by influential Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein erupted in early October.

As the #MeToo hashtag on social media developed into a place where victimized women felt safe to describe the harassment and abuse they’ve suffered, several prominent entertainers, politicians, business leaders and media figures, including NBC Today host Matt Lauer on Wednesday, have become engulfed in scandal for their actions.

Zaun is the first person since implicated from a sports world seeking to evolve from the pervasive machismo that has been accepted as part of the culture for decades.

Zaun, 46, joined Sportsnet as an analyst with Blue Jays Central in March 2011 shortly after he announced his retirement, teaming with host Jamie Campbell to deliver opinion and analysis before and after Blue Jays regular season and post-season games.

He has also been a regular guest on several other Sportsnet programs as well as a regular on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

Media statement from Rick Brace, Rogers Media president:

“This week, we received complaints from multiple female employees at Sportsnet regarding inappropriate behaviour and comments by Gregg Zaun in the workplace. After investigating the matter, we decided to terminate his contract, effective immediately.

This type of behaviour completely contradicts our standards and our core values. We believe in a professional workplace where all employees feel comfortable and respected. We are grateful to our employees who spoke with us and we will take every measure to protect their privacy.”