Statement from John Stanton on Seattle Mariners workplace culture

Today the Seattle Times published a story about the Seattle Mariners workplace environment. We do not believe it accurately reflects the values and culture of our organization.

July 25th, 2018

Today the Seattle Times published a story about the Seattle Mariners workplace environment. We do not believe it accurately reflects the values and culture of our organization.

I want to be very clear - the Seattle Mariners organization is 100% committed to maintaining a workplace environment in which every employee, partner, and fan feels safe, respected, and comfortable. We do not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind. This commitment has been a part of our corporate culture for many years, and we have strong policies in place to assure that whenever we see a problem, we confront it and take appropriate action.

Issues involving Mariners President and CEO Kevin Mather

Nearly 10 years ago, two female former Mariners employees complained of inappropriate language and treatment in the workplace by then Executive Vice President Kevin Mather. We took those complaints seriously. Starting with the premise that the allegations were true, we immediately brought in an outside expert to conduct a thorough investigation.

Based on the findings of that investigation, we imposed appropriate discipline, management and sensitivity training, and other corrective actions. We also made amends to the affected female employees. We used this as an opportunity to review and address our workplace culture, and retained an outside consultant to advise us and conduct training for all employees. In the years since, we have maintained our commitment to training and ensuring a workplace that is inclusive, safe and supportive.

Kevin learned from the experience and has since been an outstanding manager and executive. The Mariners owners took this into consideration, as well as Kevin's nearly 20 year work history and performance, when considering him for promotion to president in 2014 and to CEO last year. We would not have promoted Kevin if we had any doubt about his ability to lead and to meet our high standards.

Allegation of videotaping and sharing images of fans

We take issue with the way the Times represented an incident in which television cameras focused on two female fans during one game in 2015. The Mariners do not record gratuitous videos of women in the stands. Period.

When the Times brought the incident to our attention several weeks ago, we immediately conducted an extensive forensic investigation. The clips referenced in the story are from a security incident that occurred at our game on September 29, 2015, which ultimately involved paramedics and other personnel. The video was shot by freelance camera operators working on the television broadcast, not Mariners employees. The clips were shared with our Director of Security to help in the investigation of the incident. Our forensic investigation found no evidence of improper sharing of any similar files with employees or others, which would be against Mariners policies. We have taken steps to reinforce our policy and ensure it is well understood across our organization and ROOT SPORTS.

Our Commitment

I am proud of the Seattle Mariners, our culture, and each and every one of our dedicated employees and the efforts we have made over the years to make a lasting and positive impact on the community.

Can we do better? Of course. On behalf of the entire Mariners organization, I am committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for our employees and our fans. We are committed to continuous improvement in every aspect of our culture to ensure fairness, dignity and respect for all.



Statement by Kevin Mather on Seattle Mariners workplace culture

Almost ten years ago, I had to confront some unpleasant realities about myself. Throughout my career, I've tried to treat people with respect and professionalism. As I was coming up through the ranks, I thought I needed to be a hard-driving manager, but I came to realize that I sometimes came across as intimidating or even mean. I also participated in banter and was at times overly familiar, in ways that I came to realize were inappropriate in the workplace.

At the time, I didn't recognize how my actions were affecting the people around me. I am truly sorry for the people I hurt and how I came across.

It was a humbling experience, and I've tried to learn from my mistakes. I take full responsibility for my actions, and I was grateful for the opportunity to change my behavior and the management training I received. I've worked to become a better co-worker, a better leader, and a better person.

I'm proud of the Mariners commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect, and I'm proud and grateful for the huge contributions that women make throughout the Mariners organization at every level. I am committed to ensuring that the Mariners are an organization in which everyone feels comfortable and respected, and can contribute to our success both on the field and in the community.