SEATTLE Mariners President and CEO Kevin Mather resigned on Monday after videos showed him ridiculing his foreign players and staffers’ English skills.
Mather, who made the remarks earlier in February in a call with a Rotary Club, resigned and left this post immediately, the Mariners announced in a statement.
Seattle Mariners President and CEO Kevin Mather mocked foreign players and staff[/caption]
Seattle Mariners President and CEO Kevin Mather was with the team since 1996[/caption]
The resignation came after footage emerged over the weekend of Mather talking about Hisashi Iwakuma, a former Mariners pitcher who recently became part of the coaching staff.
“Wonderful human being; his English was terrible,” Mather said of Iwakuma, who is from Japan.
Mather also said that the team wanted Iwakuma on the staff as an Asian scout to keep tabs on the Japanese league, but complained about the extra cost he carried when he was a player.
“I’m tired of paying his interpreter because when he was a player we would pay Iwakuma X, but we also had to pay $75,000 a year to have an interpreter with him,” Mather said.
Seattle Mariners President and CEO Kevin Mather said Hisashi Iwakuma’s ‘English was terrible’[/caption]
Seattle Mariners President and CEO Kevin Mather said outfielder Julio Rodriguez’s ‘English is not tremendous’[/caption]
“His English suddenly got better, his English got better when we told him that,” Mather said with a laugh.
Later in the call, Mather mocked minor league prospect Julio Rodriguez, an outfielder who is from the Dominican Republic.
“Julio Rodriguez has got a personality bigger than all of you combined,” Mather said.
“He is loud. His English is not tremendous.”
In a statement on Monday, the Major League Baseball Players Association said the video “is a highly disturbing yet critically important window into how Players are genuinely viewed by management.”
“It is offensive, and it is not surprising that fans and other around the game are offended as well,” the statement read.
Mather, who was with the Mariners since 1996 and became president and CEO in 2017, apologized for his words.
“There is no excuse for my behavior, and I take full responsibility for my terrible lapse in judgment,” Mather said in a statement.
But Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton announced Mathers’ resignation on Monday morning.
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Stanton said in a statement that he was “extremely disappointed” when he heard Mathers’ comments and that they “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 stated.
“I offer my sincere apology on behalf of the club and my partners to our players and fans. We must be, and do, better.”