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MLB investigating racism claims against Mariners management

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is one of those a former employee has accused of making racist statements. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE (AP) — Major League Baseball is investigating claims made against the Seattle Mariners by the team's recently fired training and conditioning director, who said team management had disparaged Latino players.

The Mariners denied the allegations in a statement on Monday following the social media postings from Lorena Martin in which she claimed general manager Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais and director of player development Andy McKay had called Latino players "lazy, dumb and stupid, especially the Dominicans." Martin, whose title with the team was director of high performance, posted her message on Instagram and Twitter .

The Mariners said Martin, who was hired with much fanfare last year, was relieved of her duties on Oct. 10.

"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 Mariners statement read.

"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 offseason," the statement continued.

The team added they welcome an investigation and want a third party to look into what the club considers to be "false accusations."

In her posting, Martin called Dipoto a "poor leader" and said the Mariners would not make the playoffs with the current leadership structure. She said her posting was "a glimpse of what I've experienced." In a later comment on Twitter , Martin said there was a breach of contract by the Mariners and she had reported "discriminatory incidences" to human resources and other staff members during the season.

"MLB is aware of the allegations made by a former employee of the Seattle Mariners regarding the conduct of club employees. Consistent with our policies, we are investigating the allegations," the commissioner's office said in a statement Tuesday.

Martin was hired by the Mariners to oversee their entire training and conditioning program. The Mariners created the role for Martin in the hope she could improve the organization's training practices and help prevent injuries. She had come to Seattle after serving as the director of sports performance analytics for the Los Angeles Lakers.

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