(FreedomJournal.org)- CEO and president of the Seattle Mariners, the American professional baseball team, resigned last week after a video emerged of him criticizing the English skills of some members of his team.
Kevin Mather could also be heard describing one of the team members as “overpaid,” prompting a pretty huge backlash from the press and supporters.
John Stanton, the chairman of the Mariners, said that the comments did not reflect the views of the franchise and were inappropriate.
“There is no excuse for what was said, and I won’t try to make one,” he said in an official 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.”
Stanton’s statement also revealed that Mather has resigned as CEO of the team.
“Kevin Mather has resigned his position effective immediately,” he said. “I want to thank Kevin for his 25 years of service to our franchise.”
The comments that landed Mather in trouble included a dig at Mariners prospect Julio Rodriguez, in which he claimed he his “loud” and that “his English is not tremendous.”
He also claimed that former pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma spoke “terrible” English.
The comments were widely condemned as racist and offensive, and these days, even a negative comment about somebody’s ability to speak English is enough to end a career.
Unless you’re a left-wing journalist calling First Lady Melania Trump an illegal immigrant who can’t speak English…
“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 in a statement.
“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,” he added.
When viewed in full context, Mather’s comments appear much less offensive than they do silly.
After the club hired Iwakuma in January as a special assignment coach, following a 150-game stretch across six seasons between 2012 and 2017, Mather quipped that he is a “wonderful human being” but added that his “English was terrible.”
“He’s coming to spring training, and I’m going to say, I’m tired of paying his interpreter,” he joked. “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!”
Mather joined the Mariners in 1996, and his career is now over thanks to a joke that the media and public personalities didn’t like very much.