Mariners CEO Kevin Mather resigns after controversial comments surface

Feb 22, 2021, 1:23 PM | Updated: 2:57 pm
Mariners Kevin Mather...
Kevin Mather has resigned after 25 years with the Mariners. (AP)

Kevin Mather has resigned as Seattle Mariners president and CEO, effective immediately, the team announced Monday afternoon.

Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton will serve as acting president and CEO until the franchise chooses a successor.

Mather came under fire Sunday when video surfaced of him making controversial remarks in a speech earlier this month to the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club that disparaged some members of the Mariners and revealed sensitive information about the inner workings of the team and baseball. You can read the full details here.

A large outcry built on social media Sunday and Monday calling for Mather to be removed from his position, ranging from voices in the local fan base to some of the most notable names in the national baseball media.

Mather released a statement Sunday night through the Mariners, saying he wanted to “apologize to every member of the Seattle Mariners organization, especially our players and to our fans,” that “My comments were my own. They do not reflect the views and strategy of the Mariners baseball leadership,” and that he is “committed to make amends for the things I said that were personally hurtful and I will do whatever it takes to repair the damage I have caused to the Seattle Mariners organization.”

The MLB Players Union released a statement Monday morning in response to Mather’s comments in the video, calling them “highly disturbing.”

Stanton released a statement through the team Monday afternoon to announce Mather’s departure, saying that “there is no excuse for what was said, and I won’t try to make one,” then offering an apology.

Stanton’s statement reads in full:

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.

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.

Kevin Mather has resigned his position effective immediately. I want to thank Kevin for his 25 years of service to our franchise.

I will serve as acting President and CEO until a successor can be chosen.

Everyone at the Seattle Mariners remains committed to our mission of winning on the field and serving our fans and communities off the field. We will demonstrate that commitment through our actions.

Mather has served as Mariners president and CEO since 2014, when he succeeded Chuck Armstrong. He has been with the team since 1996.

In 2018, it was revealed in a Seattle Times story that the Mariners had settled with two women that had accused Mather of sexual harassment and contributing to a hostile workplace for women. He was promoted twice by the team after the allegations. Mather was also a figure in a 2018 wrongful termination suit by former Mariners high performance director Lorena Martin, who alleged her firing was in retaliation to complaints she made to Mather and other members of Seattle’s front office about alleged gender and racial discrimination. The Times reported Monday the case had recently been “resolved.”

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