Seattle Mariners Kevin Mather resigns as president and CEO after disparaging players in a speech on February 5.


The Seattle Times was the first to report the details of Mather’s comments, which were made on February 5 at the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club in Washington. The rotating club posted a roughly 45-minute video of Mather’s comments on its YouTube page, which has since been removed, according to MLB.com.

Mather spoke about the foreign-born players’ ability to speak English, the team’s player personnel decisions and financial situation, and about the tactics the team used to limit the serving time of young prospects, a maneuver that allows the team to retain control over the player for longer. .

Stanton said he was “extremely disappointed” when he learned of Mather’s comments to the Rotary Club.

On Sunday night, Mather apologized for his words, according to MLB.com. CNN has not been able to reach Mather for comment.

“I want to apologize to all members of the Seattle Mariners organization, especially our players and our fans,” Mather said, according to MLB.com. “There is no excuse for my behavior, and I take full responsibility for my terrible misjudgment (sic).”

Mather has been part of the Mariners organization since 1996 when he joined the team as executive vice president of stadium finance and operations, according to MLB. He held the position until 2014, when he was promoted to team president. Three years later, in 2017, Mather took over as President and CEO.

Comments provoke outrage in MLB

The outrage over Mather’s comments spread throughout the league, including from some of the people mentioned in Mather’s comments.

Mariners prospect Julio Rodriguez, whose English-speaking abilities Mather criticized. posted a meme on social media indicating that the comment was taken personally. Mather also opined that Mariners’ All-Star third baseman Kyle Seager received an overpayment, causing Julie, Seager’s wife, to ask on Twitter if the family put their house up for sale.

In the team’s statement announcing Mather’s resignation, Stanton said “[Mather’s] the 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 will not try to make one,” Stanton added. “I offer my sincere apologies on behalf of the club and my partners to our players and fans. We must be, and do, better.”

Stanton will assume the role of interim president and CEO of the team until a successor is announced.

The MLB Players Association was also highly critical of Mather’s comments. In a statement, the MLBPA called Mather’s video “an extremely disturbing but critically important window on how players are actually viewed by management” and said the comments provide “an unfiltered look at the Club’s thinking.”

“It is offensive, and it is not surprising that fans and others around the game are also offended,” the MLBPA statement read.

Mather also faced controversy in 2018

This is not the first time Mather has had to apologize for his actions while working as an executive for the Mariners. In 2018, she apologized after it came to light that two team employees complained about inappropriate language and Mather’s actions between 2009 and 2010, while Mather served as the team’s executive vice president.

“Throughout my career, I have tried to treat people with respect and professionalism,” Mather said in 2018. “As I rose through the ranks, I thought I had to be a demanding manager, but I realized that that I found it intimidating or even cruel at times. I also participated in jokes and at times it was too familiar to me, in ways that I found were inappropriate in the workplace.

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“At the time, I did not recognize how my actions were affecting the people around me. I really feel sorry for the people I hurt and how I found myself. It was a humbling experience, and I have tried to learn from my mistakes. I take full responsibility. for my actions, and I appreciated the opportunity to change my behavior and the management training I received. I have worked to become a better co-worker, a better leader, and a better person. “

The Mariners said at the time that after an investigation into the allegations against Mather, the organization “imposed appropriate discipline, handling and sensitivity training, and other corrective actions.”

The Mariners also revealed that the team had “made amends” for the employees involved.

“Kevin learned from the experience and has been an outstanding manager and executive ever since,” Stanton said in a statement in 2018. “The Mariners’ owners took this into consideration, as well as nearly 20 years of work history and performance. from Kevin, considering him for promotion to president in 2014 and CEO last year. We would not have promoted Kevin if we had any doubts about his ability to lead and meet our high standards. “

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