The New York Mets are facing a discrimination lawsuit from a former team executive who claims she was fired for being pregnant and unmarried, legal action that experts say could be big trouble for the team.
Leigh Castergine was the team’s former senior vice president of ticket sales and has filed a lawsuit claiming she was improperly fired. Castergine claims the Mets co-owner Jeff Wilpon frequently degraded her in front of colleagues.
Selim Algar of the New York Post noted.
(Wilpon) frequently humiliated Castergine in front of others by, among other things, pretending to see if she had an engagement ring on her finger and openly stating in a meeting of the team’s all-male senior executives that he is ‘morally opposed’ to Castergine ‘having this baby without being married.’
Wilpon allegedly told Leigh Castergine that “when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus,” and that “something had changed” after giving birth because “she was no longer as ‘aggressive’ as she used to be.” Castergine was fired on August 31, with the team releasing only a short statement about her dismissal and giving no official reason.
In light of Castergine’s lawsuit, the Mets have now released a statement denying her claims.
“We have received and reviewed the complaint,” the team noted. “The claims are without merit. Our organization maintains strong policies against any and all forms of discrimination.”
In her complaint, Catergine has also taken shots at the team, saying that selling tickets to a team that has not finished with a winning percentage over.500 since 2008 is a nearly impossible task.
The suit could be big trouble for the New York Mets, notes NBC Sports writer Craig Calcaterra. Though he notes the lawsuit by itself doesn’t prove anything, the team is likely taking the allegations very seriously and that both the Mets and Fred Wilpon could be hurt if it turns out to be true.
[Photo via MLB Reports]