Former MLB player and Washington Nationals television analyst F.P. Santangelo was not on the air for the fifth time in nine days Sunday as an allegation of sexual assault cast a shadow over his future with the Nats broadcast team.
The Nationals and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which owns the broadcast rights to the team’s games, both issued statements over the weekend, vaguely pointing to each other for keeping Santangelo off the airwaves.
The situation stems from an allegation made by a 31-year-old woman, who claimed in an anonymous Instagram post that Santangelo, 53, made unwanted advances toward her and sexually assaulted her several years ago. The woman detailed her experiences in an interview with The Athletic.
After the article was published, Santangelo texted The Athletic and the Washington Post in response, claiming the allegation was “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.”
The woman told The Athletic she does not want to make a formal complaint and is not seeking any compensation.
The Nationals issued a statement on Saturday, saying Santangelo’s conduct was “inconsistent with our values as an organization” and that the team had “revoked our approval of him as a member of our broadcast team” pending an investigation by MASN.
“Moving forward, we will refer all questions regarding this investigation to F.P.’s employer, MASN,” the statement said.
However, a MASN statement said allegations concerning broadcasters who are former players are referred to MLB’s Department of Investigations and concluded that “former Major Leaguers acting as on-air media analysts on the network appear only with the advice and consent of the clubs and MLB.”
Santangelo played parts of seven major league seasons with the Expos, Giants, Dodgers and A’s from 1995-2001. He has been the Nationals’ primary television analyst on MASN since 2011.