The Major League Baseball Players' Association had harsh words for Seattle Mariners CEO Kevin Mather, who made a number of controversial and offensive comments about various players during a Rotary Club meeting in early February, before he resigned on Monday.
James Wagner of the New York Times shared the MLBPA statement:
Major League Baseball also condemned Mather's comments:
Jeff Passan of ESPN broke down the various comments Mather made during the meeting:
"Mather disparaged a Japanese player [Hisashi Iwakuma] for not learning English, belittled a star prospect from the Dominican Republic [Julio Rodriguez] for his language skills and derided another top prospect [Jarred Kelenic] while admitting to manipulating his service time. He called his team's best pitcher [Marco Gonzales] 'very boring' and embellished the pitcher's actions in a clubhouse incident, told another falsehood about a well-respected veteran [Mitch Haniger] and complained that the franchise's best player over the past decade [Kyle Seager] was 'overpaid.'"
Prospect Austin Shenton publicly came to the defense of Rodriguez following Mather's comments:
Austin Shenton @Austin_Shenton
@J_RODshow helped my Mom pass her Spanish assignment when she was doing chemotherapy and every time we talk, he asks how she is doing. Also, when he asks, it’s in perfectly spoken English. I’m grateful to have someone like him representing our organization. 🤘🏼 https://t.co/AwHd73l2oJ
The situation came to a head Monday, however, when Mather resigned:
Mather had categorized his Rotary Club speech as a "lapse in judgment" in an apology he issued after the comments, saying before his resignation that he "committed to make amends" and would "do whatever it takes to repair the damage I have caused to the Seattle Mariners organization."
"My comments were my own," he added. "They do not reflect the views and strategy of the Mariners baseball leadership who are responsible for decisions about the development and status of the players at all levels of the organization."
Now, Mather no longer represents the Mariners either.