It's standard policy for the league to investigate claims of racism or issues involved in work place environment.
A day after serious accusations of racist and sexist comments were leveled at the Mariners, specifically general manager Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais and director of player development Andy McKay by Mariners’ former director of high performance Dr. Lorena Martin, Major League Baseball confirmed that it will conduct an investigation into her claims.
In any situation where an employee of a team makes an accusation of racism or improper work conditions of that nature, it is standard policy for MLB to investigate the claim. Those investigators can come from within the employ of MLB or hired outside investigators. A time frame for an investigation was not given.
Contacted about the potential investigation, the Mariners’ media relations department responded with this statement: “The Mariners welcome a Major League Baseball investigation and look forward to fully cooperating. We have nothing to hide and are confident the investigation will support that.”
On Monday afternoon, Martin released posts to her Instagram and Twitter accounts, outlining her complaints and accusations of wrongdoing from the organization that hired her just under a year ago.
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In the Instagram post, Martin wrote, “The Mariners organization has major issues. The things I’ve witnessed and heard first hand have left me shocked. How can their GM Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais and director of player development Andy McKay speak about their players like this. … Calling LATINOS LAZY, DUMB, and STUPID, especially the DOMINICANS.”
She added: “And then they wondered why they didn’t make it to the playoffs. Leadership is to blame, under Jerry Dipoto’s leadership no team has made it to the playoffs and they will continue to miss the playoffs with him in his position. Poor leadership. It’s come to the point where I have to speak out because they are firing innocent trainers for trying to do the right thing and because of their color/race.”
The Mariners later released a statement, confirming that Martin was fired from her position, which was created by Dipoto, on Oct. 10. She was under a year into her three-year contract, having been hired Oct. 30, 2017.
“While it is our policy to not comment on personnel issues, we do feel it is important to respond to the outrageous, false claims made by her today on social media. And to note that Martin did not make any of these false allegations until after she was relieved of her duties,” the statement said.
“The Mariners categorically deny that any member of our management or coaching staff made racist remarks regarding any of our players or staff. Additionally, we have not terminated (or threatened to terminate) any trainers during the off-season.”
The organization then issued another statement after Martin did an interview with the Tacoma News Tribune, offering more insight into her accusations.
“These are claims are not true. They are absolutely false and ludicrous. She is fabricating stories, including her reports to human resources and the people named in this story. In at least one instance, there was a witness in the room that can confirm that the stories did not happen as she related they did.”
Martin told the News-Tribune that she had a meeting in January with Dipoto and McKay to talk about McKay taking over mental skills development. Martin asserted that, per her contract, mental skills training fell under her purview, and said Dipoto called her a “cocky Latina.” In that same meeting, Martin said McKay commented that Dominican players are “just plain stupid.”
Martin also highlighted an incident at the Mariners’ spring training complex in Peoria, Arizona, when Dipoto punched a whiteboard and demonstrated “really aggressive behavior” when she asserted again that she was responsible for mental skills training.
Martin also told the News-Tribune that Servais told her you don’t see Latin American managers or catchers in baseball because “they aren’t bright enough. They are dumb.” Martin said she reported the incidents to the Mariners’ human resources department.
Martin said she was also discriminated against based on her gender, claiming that during spring training, Servais refused to allow her to attend a meeting with players in the clubhouse, and when she asked why, he said, “Honestly, it’s because you’re a woman.”