Seattle Mariner president and CEO Kevin Mather resigned on Monday following the emergence of video in which he criticized some of the team’s players’ English skills and described one of the backbones of the franchise as “overpaid”.
Mariners chairman John Stanton said Mather’s comments were inappropriate and do not represent the views of the franchise.
There is no excuse for what was said, and I won’t try to make one,” Stanton said in a statement. “I offer my sincere apology on behalf of the club and my partners to our players and fans. We must be, and do, better.”
Mather issued an apology late on Sunday for his comments, which were made earlier this month at a Rotary Club meeting and were posted online over the weekend.
At one point in the video, Mather was asked about Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who played with the club for six seasons before returning in a coaching role.
“Wonderful human being, his English was terrible,” Mather said of Iwakuma. “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!”
When asked about top prospect Julio Rodríguez, rather than concentrating on his playing ability, Mather focused on his grasp of English. “Julio Rodríguez has got a personality bigger than all of you combined,” he said. “He is loud, his English is not tremendous.” He also repeatedly referred to catcher Luis Torrens as “Luis Torres”.
Meanwhile, he questioned the value of third baseman Kyle Seager who has been a part of the team since 2011.
Source: Guardian news