TORONTO — Gregg Zaun has been fired from Sportsnet due to "inappropriate behaviour and comments" toward female employees.
Rick Brace, President of Rogers Media, said in a statement Thursday that the company was terminating the contract of the MLB studio analyst effective immediately.
"This week, we received complaints from multiple female employees at Sportsnet regarding inappropriate behaviour by Gregg Zaun in the workplace," the statement said. "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."
The former Toronto Blue Jays catcher began a part-time broadcasting career with Sportsnet following the 2006 season. He initially signed a two-year deal as a MLB studio analyst with Sportsnet in 2011 and continued working with the network until his termination.
Zaun, 46, played 16 major league seasons, including five years in Toronto from 2004-2008. He captured a World Series with the Florida Marlins in 1997.
Zaun's dismissal comes at a time when allegations of sexual harassment are widespread in the film industry, politics and the newsroom with prominent figures such as producer Harvey Weinstein and Today Show host Matt Lauer among those accused.
Sportsnet.ca reported there were no allegations of physical or sexual assault.
Zaun did not immediately return a request for comment. Longtime co-host Jamie Campbell told The Canadian Press in an email that he had no comment.
The Blue Jays declined to comment directly on the matter late Thursday when contacted by The Canadian Press and referred media queries to Rogers Media.
Zaun, who referred to himself as "the Manalyst," was ridiculed over Twitter back in 2012 when he tweeted a disparaging comment about women in a Toronto nightclub.
Zaun ruffled the feathers of some Blue Jays players over the years when he criticized their play. Former catcher J.P. Arencibia responded to Zaun and another former Sportsnet analyst, Dirk Hayhurst, by blasting both in a radio interview in 2013.
Zaun criticized pitcher Marcus Stroman this April for being overly animated on the mound during a series against the Los Angeles Angels. The right-hander said on Twitter: "Outside opinions are irrelevant. Especially when they come from sources with zero credibility" when a fan tweeted at Stroman about Zaun's comments.
Zaun was one of the names mentioned in the Mitchell Report — the 2007 document that followed U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell's 20-month investigation into performance-enhancing drug use in MLB. Zaun denied that he ever bought PED's.
Zaun was scheduled to speak a fundraiser for the University of the Fraser Valley baseball program in Abbotsford, B.C., in February, but organizers released a statement Thursday saying they were pulling him from the event.
"In light of the allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace against Zaun which led to his termination by Sportsnet today, UFV Baseball is seeking a new speaker for the event, which will proceed as scheduled," the statement said.