Mariners president resigns over offensive remarks

Field Level Media

Seattle Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather resigned Monday, one day after apologizing for his recent eye-raising remarks about current and former players, including their ability to speak English.

Mather’s departure was announced by the team along with a statement from Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton.

“Like all of you, I was extremely disappointed when I learned of Kevin Mather’s recent comments. His comments were inappropriate and do not represent our organization’s feelings about our players, staff, and fans. There is no excuse for what was said, and I won’t try to make one,” Stanton said in the statement.

“I offer my sincere apology on behalf of the club and my partners to our players and fans. We must be, and do, better. We have a lot of work to do to make amends, and that work is already underway. Kevin Mather has resigned his position effective immediately. I want to thank Kevin for his 25 years of service to our franchise.”

Stanton said he will serve as acting president and CEO until a successor is found.

Mather apologized Sunday night after a video was posted of remarks he made to a local Rotary Club on Feb. 5. In those remarks, he said Mariners prospect Julio Rodriguez “is loud, his English is not tremendous.” He also said former pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma’s English “was terrible.”

“I want to apologize to every member of the Seattle Mariners organization, especially our players and to our fans,” Mather said in a statement. “There is no excuse for my behavior, and I take full responsibility for my terrible lapse in judgment.

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“I’ve been on the phone most of the day today apologizing to the many people I have insulted, hurt, or disappointed in speaking at a recent online event,” he added. “I am committed to make amends for the things I said that were personally hurtful and I will do whatever it takes to repair the damage I have caused to the Seattle Mariners organization.”

The Major League Baseball Players Association issued a statement Monday.

“The Club’s video presentation is a highly disturbing yet critically important window into how Players are genuinely viewed by management. Not just because of what was said, but also because it represents an unfiltered look into Club thinking,” the statement read. “It is offensive, and it is not surprising that fans and others around the game are offended as well. Players remain committed to confronting these issues at the bargaining table and elsewhere.”

Iwakuma appeared in 150 games in six seasons with the Mariners (2012-17), and the club hired him in January as a special assignment coach. Mather was fielding a question about what the club does to help foreign players with learning to speak English.

“We just re-hired Iwakuma. … Wonderful human being, his English was terrible,” Mather said. “He’s coming to spring training. And I’m going to say, I’m tired of paying his interpreter. When he was a player, we’d pay Iwakuma X, but we’d also have to pay $75,000 a year to have an …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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