Mariners president Kevin Mather resigns after ‘inappropriate’ comments are made public

The Seattle Mariners announced Monday that president Kevin Mather has resigned from his position following his disparaging comments that surfaced in a leaked video over the weekend. Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton will act as acting president and CEO until a successor is chosen, the team said in a statement.

Mather, speaking in a Zoom meeting with a Seattle-area rotary club earlier this month, made remarks about suppressing player’s service time, said the team did not want to pay the salary of a Japanese player’s interpreter and criticized the English of one of the Mariners’ Dominican-born prospects. He issued an apology on Sunday night before resigning Monday.

Here’s the statement from 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. 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. I will serve as acting president and CEO until a successor can be chosen.

Everyone at the Seattle Mariners remains committed to our mission of winning on the field and serving our fans and communities off the field. We will demonstrate that commitment through our actions.

The MLB Players Association issued a statement on Monday, calling Mather’s comments “offensive” and saying they represented an “unfiltered look into Club thinking.”

Mather joined the Mariners in 1996, first serving as serving as executive vice president of finance. In January 2014, he was selected to succeed Chuck Armstrong as team president. The release of Mather’s video isn’t the first time his character has come into question.In a 2018 report from the Seattle Times, Mather was accused of harassment by two former female employees. The original complaints were made in 2009 and 2010. The two women eventually left the team, while Mather was retained and promoted four years later.

“I am committed to ensuring that every Mariners employee feels comfortable and respected, and can contribute to our success both on the field and in the community,” Mather said in a statement at the time. “Can we do better? Of course.”

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