As anyone involved in top professional sports should know, everything said and done by those involved will be scrutinised, regardless of the situation. This is something that has surfaced recently in Major League Baseball as Seattle Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather was forced to resign on Monday the 22nd of February.
The resignation came about following comments made by Mather to a Rotary Club earlier in the month. The event was staged at a Bellevue, Washington, Rotary Club on the 5th of February and were posted online just over two weeks later.
Speaking following the release of the comments, Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton said, “His comments were inappropriate and do not represent our organization’s feelings about our players, staff, and fans,”, before continuing, “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.”
Stanton himself will take on the roles left by the resignation of Mather, including his work as CEO and team president on an interim basis. Interestingly, Mather has a small ownership stake in the Mariners franchise and there has yet to be a decision in terms of any severance pay. However, what has become clear is that Mather took the decision to resign before being fired from his role as CEO and president. Those interested in betting on the Mariners next season can check out this BetMGM Tennesee review and keep an eye on the odds surrounding the teams future fixtures, but hopefully this fall out of the upper management won’t negatively impact the team as Mather has since apologized for his comments following the release of the video but the damage was there for all to see in the footage. Having been with the Mariners since 1996, Mathers was promoted to the role of CEO and team president in 2017 but just four years later he has left in disgrace.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred commented on behalf on the organisation, “We condemn Kevin Mather’s offensive and disrespectful comments about several players. We are proud of the international players who have made baseball better through their outstanding examples of courage and determination, and our global game is far better because of their contributions. His misguided remarks do not represent the values of our game and have no place in our sport.”
In terms of the comments made by Mather at the event in question, he spoke about former Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. Mathers said, “For instance, we just rehired Iwakuma; he was a pitcher with us for a number of years. Wonderful human being; his English was terrible,” before continuing, “He wanted to get back into the game; he came to us. We quite frankly want him as our Asian scout/interpreter, what’s going on with the Japanese league. 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 interpreter with him. His English suddenly got better. His English got better when we told him that.”
This is just a small example of what Mather said at the Rotary Club on the 5th of February, in addition to comments about Julio Rodriguez, the team’s payroll, and individual player earnings.