By Amy Lieu
Published July 26, 2018
Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners said Wednesday that the club has "made amends" with former female employees who alleged harassment against the team’s current president and CEO.
The team said for the first time, in response to a Seattle Times story published Wednesday, that Kevin Mather had been the subject of two workplace complaints from female employees more than 10 years ago, the newspaper reported.
John Stanton, the club’s owner and managing partner, said in a statement: “(W)e also made amends to the affected female employees.”
The Mariners initially refused to discuss details about the complaints, but did so after the Times published the story.
The complaints consisted of allegations of inappropriate language and treatment by Mather and two former executives.
The three women involved left their jobs, but all three executives remained in their positions, and two were promoted, the Times reported.
The club had made settlement payments totaling about $500,000 to the two former female executive assistants, including one who worked for Mather and another who worked for then-Executive Vice President Bob Aylward, the Times reported.
One of the women who had complained about Mather also reported that pop-up pornographic images filled Aylward’s computer screen while she was helping him with a frozen computer, the Times reported, citing two people familiar with the complaint.
A third woman had complained that she felt pressured to kiss and reciprocate advances from then-team President Chuck Armstrong because of his power in the organization, the report said, citing three people familiar with that complaint.
Armstrong remained president until retiring in January 2014, the report said. Mather was promoted to succeed Armstrong and the CEO title was added in December 2017.
Aylward and Armstrong declined to comment. Both had already retired from their roles.
“At the time, I didn’t recognize how my actions were affecting the people around me,” Mather said. “I am truly sorry for the people I hurt and how I came across.”
Mather said it was a humbling experience for him to "confront some unpleasant realities" about himself. He took responsibility for his actions and apologized for his behavior that he described as intimidating, mean and inappropriate in the workplace.
He also said he “participated in banter and was at times overly familiar, in ways that I came to realize were inappropriate in the workplace,” according to the Times.
Stanton said an outside expert conducted an investigation and "we imposed appropriate discipline, management and sensitivity training, and other corrective actions."
The newspaper also investigated inappropriate workplace behavior and learned that video personnel at the team's ballpark, Safeco Field, shot, compiled and archived footage in a Dropbox folder titled, “9-29-15 Blondes.”
The footage lingered on one woman in the stadium crowd with a revealing top and on another woman when she was exposed after her dress hiked up, the Times reported.
Randy Adamack, the team’s special adviser to the chairman and CEO, said the camera attention on the women shouldn’t have happened, according to the report.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.