Seattle Mariners President Kevin Mather Apologizes For Comments About Asian Players

Another day, another apology from someone in the sports world. Seattle Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather apologized over the weekend after his comments to a rotary club earlier this month surfaced. Mather ripped the English speaking capabilities of two members of the organization “terrible” and “not tremendous.” Mather’s comments were made to a Bellevue, Washington, rotary club on Feb. 5th and were posted online over the weekend.

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Here are his comments below:

“It frustrates me. For instance, we just rehired [Hisashi] Iwakuma, he was a pitcher with us for a number of years. Wonderful human being, his English was terrible. 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.”

And Mather, of course, issued an apology.

“I want to apologize to every member of the Seattle Mariners organization, especially our players and to our fans,” Mather said in a statement. “There is no excuse for my behavior, and I take full responsibility for my terrible lapse in judgment.”

“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,” he added. “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 I have caused to the Seattle Mariners organization.”

Mather has been with the Mariners since 1996.

He was promoted to his current role back in November 2017.

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