Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press
Joe Ricketts, the patriarch of the family who owns the Chicago Cubs, and team chairman Tom Ricketts apologized after Splinter News published a number of the former’s emails endorsing and/or sharing racist and Islamophobic sentiments.
“I deeply regret and apologize for some of the exchanges I had in my emails,” the elder Ricketts said in a statement, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. “Sometimes I received emails that I should have condemned. Other times I’ve said things that don’t reflect my value system. I strongly believe that bigoted ideas are wrong.”
Gonzales noted one of the emails included Ricketts saying, “Muslims are naturally my (our) enemy,” while another featured him saying a joke that included the N-word brought about a “great laugh.”
Tom Ricketts’ statement stressed that Joe is not involved in the daily operations of the team while also apologizing.
“We are aware of the racially insensitive emails in my father’s account that were published by an online media outlet. Let me be clear: the language and views expressed in those emails have no place in our society.
“My father is not involved with the operation of the Chicago Cubs in any way. I am trusted with representing this organization and our fans with a respect for people from all backgrounds. These emails do not reflect the culture we’ve worked so hard to build at the Chicago Cubs since 2009.”
While Joe Ricketts isn’t directly involved with the operation of the baseball team, Jon Greenberg of The Athletic noted he funded his children’s family trust, which was used to purchase the Cubs. The patriarch founded TD Ameritrade and sold $403 million in stock to help his children buy the team from the Tribune Company in 2009.
Greenberg provided additional details about the emails, noting many of them were about former President Barack Obama’s faith, upbringing and citizenship. Greenberg pointed out it was “a fervent topic for right-wing email chains of that time.”
The Ricketts family is directly involved in the Republican party, as Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts is the Republican National Committee finance chair.
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reported he will oversee the fundraising efforts for sitting President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.