Why Kevin Mather Resigned from the Mariners

Seattle Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather resigned from the Mariners Monday due to remarks he made earlier this month to a Rotary Club that surfaced and received much criticism.

Mariners Chairman John Stanton made a statement saying,

“His comments were inappropriate and do not represent our organization’s feelings about our players, staff, and fans,” Stanton said.

“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.”

John Stanton will be taking on the role of the interim CEO and team president. Mather resigned before he could be fired, and the organization hadn’t decided on what would happen to Mathers ownership stake in the franchise.

Mather had been with the Mariners since 1996 made his final statement with the team on Sunday night when he apologized for his comments. In some of the Rotary club comments, he bashed several players starting with pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma.

When talking about Iwakuma Mather 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.” He then went on to say,

“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.”

After bashing, Mather went on to target minor league outfielder Julio Rodriguez, ranked as the No. 9 overall prospect in the MLB. He would again attack the player’s language, stating,

“Julio Rodriguez has got a personality bigger than all of you combined. He is loud. His English is not tremendous.”

It wasn’t over yet for Kevin Mather; he also stated that Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert would not start the season as a way to mess with the time they spent in the major leagues and to keep them under club control longer.

Mather also talked about veteran Kyle Seager saying he would be a future Hall of Famer but was overpaid, which would likely be his last season with the Mariners. Seager is on the last year of his 7 year $100 million contract.

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He will earn a base salary of $18 million in the 2021 season. Seager has been on the Mariners since 2011 and became an All-Star in 2014.

Mather’s 40-minute rant isn’t the only thing he has done to upset people. Two females reported allegations of harassment by Mather’s. The females were former executive assistants to Mather’s.

When these accusations came out in the late 2000s the Mariners made a statement saying an expert conducted an investigation. We took the right actions by imposing appropriate discipline and sensitivity training, and other corrective actions.

This behavior should never be tolerated and for the CEO and president to bash his own people is more than disrespectful. The world takes one step forward and then one step back from inclusion and care because of people like Kevin Mather.