"I regret that," Atkins said Thursday, according to Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet. "As a leader, it's our responsibility to ensure that our staff feels safe, supported, and I deeply apologize to anyone who ever faced harassment or didn't feel comfortable to come forward."
While Atkins apologized, the executive stated he was not aware of Callaway's actions, Zwelling adds.
Callaway is under investigation after multiple journalists said he sexually harassed them. He's currently suspended from his role as the Los Angeles Angels' pitching coach but has denied any wrongdoing.
A report surfaced Tuesday indicating Indians staff was made aware of Callaway's misconduct, citing repeated phone calls to the fan services department from the husband of a woman Callaway allegedly sent "pornographic material" to in 2017, according to Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang of The Athletic. The calls were then brought to the attention of president Chris Antonetti, general manager Mike Chernoff, and manager Terry Francona.
Twelve current and former Indians employees also told The Athletic that Callaway's "sexual indiscretions permeated the workplace to such an extent that it would have been difficult for top officials to not be aware of his behavior." Several of the sources said he sexually harassed women who worked for the team and female employees were commonly warned to stay away from him. The current and former employees also said they didn’t believe Cleveland executives or MLB were surprised by the initial report.
Atkins began his tenure with the Indians in 2001, eventually climbing to vice president of player personnel. He left Cleveland's front office at the conclusion of the 2015 season to join the Blue Jays.
Callaway was promoted to pitching coach prior to the 2013 season, eventually leaving to become manager of the New York Mets following the 2017 campaign.
The investigation into Callaway began in early February. The Angels, who said they would work closely with MLB to help the investigation, have since hired Matt Wise as interim pitching coach.