Report: Mariners claim no wrongdoing after internal review of ex-employee's racism allegations

Jack BaerWriter
Yahoo Sports

A “thorough internal review” by the Seattle Mariners revealed no basis for the racism claims of former employee Dr. Lorena Martin, according to an email to Mariners employees from team CEO John Stanton that was obtained by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

In the email, Stanton says Martin, the team’s first ever director of high performance, first began making her allegations against general manager Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais and farm director Andy McKay a week after Oct. 10, when she was fired.

The disturbing allegations Dr. Lorena Martin leveled this week against three of our top baseball executives were shocking and totally unexpected. I want you to know that we worked for months with Dr. Martin to try to resolve concerns about her job performance and her workplace behavior. Dr Martin never made allegations against our executives during these conversations.  Unfortunately, our efforts were not successful, and on October 10, she was relieved her of her duties.

At that point, Stanton claims the team immediately turned the matter over to its human resources and legal departments, who conducted the review and found no corroboration.

Stanton states that he believes Major League Baseball’s investigation into the matter will yield similar results.

Dr. Lorena Martin’s claims against the Mariners

Martin’s claims sent shockwaves throughout MLB when they first came to light on Monday, when she alleged she had seen Dipoto, Servais and McKay call Latinos “lazy, dumb, and stupid.” She also claimed two Dominican trainers were unfairly let go on Twitter.

Martin went into further detail over her claims in an interview with the Tacoma News-Tribune, saying she reported the alleged racist incidents to human resources only to be fired in retaliation.

Reached for clarification on Monday night, Martin told The News Tribune that Dipoto, in a meeting with Martin and McKay in January, called her a “cocky Latina.” In that same meeting McKay said Dominican players are “just plain stupid” and, in a separate meeting, Servais told her that you don’t see Latino catchers or managers because “they aren’t bright enough. They are dumb.”

The Mariners strongly denied all of Martin’s claims, calling them “false and ludicrous” and claiming Martin did not make any of her allegations until after she was fired.

Where do the Mariners go from here?

Stanton’s email essentially confirms that the Mariners organization has decided to back Dipoto, Servais, McKay and any other employee against whom Martin made allegations. Now, the team has left the matter up to MLB’s investigation to either support or refute Martin.

Despite fighting back against Martin’s claims, Stanton concedes that the team is currently “making strides in reshaping our organization’s culture” after an “evaluation” of the team’s workplace.

The Seattle Mariners are backing some of their top decision-makers against disturbing racism allegations from a former employee. (Getty Images)
The Seattle Mariners are backing some of their top decision-makers against disturbing racism allegations from a former employee. (Getty Images)

This email is obviously not coming from a neutral source, as any legitimate corroboration of Martin’s claims would likely lead to the downfall of the team’s top decision-makers. As Rosenthal notes, the team is already in hot water over sexual harassment allegations dating back to 2009 against team president Kevin Mather.

Stanton didn’t bother to acknowledge those claims in his email, and even went so far as to implicitly push back on them by saying the Mariners have “worked hard over the years to ensure that the Mariners treat every employee fairly and with respect and dignity.”

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