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Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that it would be investigating Dr. Lorena Martin’s accusations of racism against Latin American players by the Seattle Mariners front office.
“MLB is aware of the allegations made by a former employee of the Seattle Mariners regarding the conduct of Club employees,” it said in a statement, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. “Consistent with our policies, we are investigating the allegations.”
Martin, who served as the team’s director of high performance, was fired by the Mariners in October, and on Monday took to social media to accuse general manager Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais and director of player development Andy McKay of racism against Latinos, noting they called such players “LAZY, DUMB, and STUPID, especially the DOMINICANS.”
Per TJ Cotterill of the Tacoma News Tribune:
“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.’
“Martin said she reported these incidents in several meetings with the team’s human resources since spring training and to multiple Mariners staff members. She said she felt she was fired in retaliation for that. She also said she has hired an attorney and is seeking wrongful termination.”
She also told Cotterill that she was discriminated against within the organization for being a woman.
The Mariners have denied all of her accusations.
“These claims are not true,” Mariners vice president of communications Tim Hevly said in a statement, per Cotterill. “They are completely false and ludicrous. She is fabricating stories, including about her reports to human resources and the people named in this story. In at least one instance there were others in the room who can confirm that the stories did not happen as she related they did.”
Martin’s job was unique when she was hired by the Mariners in Oct. 2017, as she was given oversight into all aspects of Seattle’s training, both physical and mental. She was put in charge of the organization’s nutritional and strength and conditioning programs, among others, after joining the team from the Los Angeles Lakers.