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Mariners CEO resigns after critical remarks

Seattle Mariners President Kevin Mather, left and CEO John Stanton pose with Jean Segura #2 of the Seattle Mariners as he is presented with a plaque commemorating his 1,000th career hit before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Safeco Field on September 3, 2018 in Seattle, Washington - Lindsey Wasson / ©AFP
Seattle Mariners President Kevin Mather, left and CEO John Stanton pose with Jean Segura #2 of the Seattle Mariners as he is presented with a plaque commemorating his 1,000th career hit before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Safeco Field on September 3, 2018 in Seattle, Washington - Lindsey Wasson / ©AFP

(AFP)

Seattle Mariners chief executive Kevin Mather resigned on Monday effective immediately, a day after he apologized for remarks about current and former baseball players that were deemed insensitive.

Mather’s resignation was announced by club chairman John Stanton who said he would serve as acting chief executive and president while they searched for a replacement.

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“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,” Stanton said.

“There is no excuse for what was said, and I won’t try to make one.”

Mather apologized on Sunday after a video surfaced of him making controversial remarks on a February 5 Zoom call to a Seattle-area service organization called the Rotary Club.

In the call, he said Mariners former Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma’s command of English “was terrible” and prospect Julio Rodriguez  “is loud, his English is not tremendous.”

“I’ve been on the phone most of the day today apologizing to the many people I have insulted, hurt, or disappointed in speaking at a recent online event,” Mather said. “I am committed to make amends for the things I said that were personally hurtful and I will do whatever it takes to repair the damage.”

Mather joined the Mariners’ organization in 1996 as part of the finance department.

The Major League Baseball Players Association issued a statement on Monday, saying “the Club’s video presentation is a highly disturbing yet critically important window into how Players are genuinely viewed by management.

“It is offensive, and it is not surprising that fans and others around the game are offended as well. Players remain committed to confronting these issues at the bargaining table and elsewhere.”

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