There was a fresh start Wednesday before noon in Washington, D.C., and there should be a desire for this to carry over to the American sports establishment, which kicked off this week with more embarrassment.
The topper came when ESPN baseball columnist Jeff Passan wrote a story that Jared Porter, recently hired as the 41-year-old general manager of the New York Mets, had an outrageous case of sexual harassment in his recent history.
The victim is a foreign journalist. She was covering Major League Baseball in 2016. She had the misfortune of being on an elevator with Porter, then the Chicago Cubs' director of pro scouting.
The journalist assumed an exchange of business cards meant that she could call for information. Instead, it led to dozens of texts and eventually a lewd photo from Porter wanting a meetup. The victim gave ESPN permission to go with the story, for which the sports outlet had the texts as proof. Porter was fired within hours of Passan's breaking news.
Adding to the Mets' embarrassment should be the recent story about new team owner Steve Cohen's nest of sexual harassment at his hedge fund, Point 72 Asset Management.
Porter lived in Wayzata until age 15 and then his family moved to Duxbury, Mass. He went to prep school there and then graduated from Bowdoin College.
Harvard, Yale and many less famous but nearly as expensive eastern colleges have taken over baseball front offices — starting with Yalie Theo Epstein winning the long-awaited World Series title for the Red Sox in 2004, as a 31-year-old general manager.
Another one of these guys, Cornell graduate Brian Taubman, was run off by the Astros (a precursor to a cheaters purge) for bellowing insults to female sportswriters in the Astros clubhouse in 2019.
What's with these recipients of alleged top-notch educations? An old baseball man like the Twins' great George Brophy never would've done that. He only bellowed insults at agents.
Another Sports World embarrassment occurs annually and it has surfaced again this month.
In the NFL, 70% of its players are Black. Anthony Lynn's firing by the L.A. Chargers left the league with two Black head coaches: Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh and Brian Flores in Miami.
There were seven openings at season's end. Five have been filled, including three with thin resumes as assistants: Arthur Smith (Atlanta), Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers) and Dan Campbell (Detroit).
Smith's genius was ordering handoffs to Derrick Henry in two seasons as Tennessee's offensive coordinator. Staley's genius was running a Rams defense with Aaron Donald for one year.
The hirings have been four white guys and new Jets coach Robert Saleh, of Arabic descent from Dearborn, Mich. It's easy to figure out why the Lions went with Campbell, a hard-nosed type with little to recommend him, over the well-regarded Saleh from the Detroit area:
They're the Lions.
Meantime, with the nondescript white guys getting hired, Eric Bieniemy, 51, and Andy Reid's right hand with K.C.'s offense, still waits to climb over that NFL barrier to Black head coaches.
It now looks as if he could get hired in Houston, but this wouldn't be due to enlightenment by the Texans. It would be because quarterback Deshaun Watson has said he wants out, and the only way to keep one of the NFL's top five QBs might be to hire Bieniemy.
The Texans are still owned by the McNair family. The patriarch, Bob McNair, is dead, although remembered as the gent who once had to apologize for saying of players, "You can't let the inmates run the prison.''
Today's Texans are also the organization that fired award-winning communications exec Amy Palcic for not being a "culture'' fit — coincidentally, four days after her tweeting a joyous reaction in November to Kamala Harris being elected as vice president.
On another front: I watched the two-part Tiger Woods documentary on HBO this week. It was overcooked with amateur psychology, but what I hadn't seen in a decade was Augusta National chairman Billy Payne's hectoring of Woods on the eve of the 2010 Masters.
Tiger was four months beyond the philandering revelations, but the scandal at that event was Payne's plantation owner attitude.
I don't think we lambasted Billy over that one to a proper degree.
Blatant sexism. Barely suppressed racism. We still have those big issues in big-time sports. We have those and more in America, and within this pandemic.
And yet, watching what took place on Wednesday surrounding the inauguration of Joe Biden, the fresh start at age 78, I'm not feeling quite as vitriolic as before taking a two-hour break in the middle of this essay.
Anthem by Lady Gaga. Uncle Joe's 20 minutes of hope and humility. "Amazing Grace" by Garth Brooks.
Heck, yes. Let's get it together.
And as a start, next time I take a true cheap shot at P.J. Fleck, consider this an invite to send a video of Amanda Gorman's poem from Jan. 20, 2021.