A Washington Nationals commentator was removed from the broadcast booth on Saturday, the fourth time in eight days, after an accusation of sexual misconduct was reported.
F.P. Santangelo, who has served as the team’s color commentator since 2011, was first taken off the air last weekend for the Nationals’ series against the Miami Marlins, The Athletic reports.
He returned to the booth on Tuesday, tweeting: “On my way to the ballpark. Can’t wait to see everyone tonight! …”
Santangelo also worked Wednesday’s game for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) before he was removed from Thursday’s MLB Network telecast. It’s not known why he was allowed to call some games last week but not others.
A 31-year-old woman who made the allegation — and who spoke to The Athletic on the condition of anonymity — said that several years ago, Santangelo made an unwanted advance, ignored her when she repeatedly told him to stop, and sexually assaulted her.
The woman said she has no desire to issue a formal complaint and isn’t seeking any compensation.
“If I never saw him again, I’d be perfectly happy,” said the woman, who also alleges that Santangelo sent her angry text messages and blocked her on social media after their one and only in-person interaction, The Athletic reports. “But he’s well known and it is bothersome to see someone in his private life not be respectful of people. I don’t have any motives behind this other than I wanted to avoid this happening to other women.”
Both the team and MASN have been made aware of a sexual misconduct allegation against Santangelo, the article states. The woman who posted the anonymous Instagram message said she has not yet heard from the network or the team.
While he is a Nationals broadcaster, Santangelo is technically a MASN employee. The Athletic reports the team does approve broadcast hires, though.
A spokesperson for the Nationals released a statement after the report came out, reported by Fox News:
“Late last week, we were made aware of allegations of conduct by F.P. Santangelo that are inconsistent with our values as an organization. We alerted MASN and revoked our approval of him as a member of our broadcast team,” the statement read. “MASN assured us that they would investigate these allegations thoroughly. After MASN notified us that their investigation was complete and that F.P. should be reinstated, additional posts appeared. Once again, we notified MASN and revoked our approval of F.P. as a member of our broadcast team indefinitely. Moving forward, we will refer all questions regarding this investigation to F.P.’s employer, MASN.”
MASN also put out a statement, reported by Fox News:
“MASN refers allegations concerning broadcasters who are former Major League Baseball players directly to Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations, as is appropriate under the circumstances,” the MASN statement read. “MASN followed that policy in this instance, previously apprising MLB of this matter such that the league might adequately review it. Those former Major Leaguers acting as on-air media analysts on the network appear only with the advice and consent of the clubs and MLB.”
After The Athletic published the story, Santangelo texted the following statement: “What I have read in your recently published article from an anonymous individual about me is untrue and did not happen. This is not representative of who I am as a man or a professional. I am confident that my name and reputation will be fully cleared.”
Santangelo spent seven years in the big leagues before his broadcasting career, playing a total of 665 games for the Montreal Expos, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics.