Major League Baseball and Chicago Cubs moved to renounce one of their own Tuesday after the Splinter news agency announced a cache of racist emails sent and received by Joe Ricketts, the billionaire whose family owns the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field.
Many of the published emails sent between 2009 and 2013 focused on a fear of Muslims and contained conspiracy theories of former President Barack Obama. The belief that Obama identifying as a Protestant is a Muslim and born outside the United States was prevalent in right-wing politics during his presidency.
Major League Baseball issued a statement condemning the emails, but apparently attempted to release Ricketts no responsibility.
"While many of the emails were not written by Mr. Ricketts, the content is extremely offensive and completely contrary to the values and principles of Major League Baseball," the statement said.
In a statement on his website Ricketts apologized for his emails. "I'm deeply sorry and apologize for some of the exchanges I had in my emails," he wrote. "Sometimes I got emails that I should have condemned. Other times I have said things that do not reflect my value system. I strongly believe that bigoted ideas are wrong."
Tom Ricketts, Cub's chairman, condemned his father's emails in a statement and tried to remove the cubes from him.
"We are aware of the racially insensitive emails in my father's account that were published by an online media outlet," the statement reads. "Let me be clear: The language and views of these emails have no place in our society."
Tom Ricketts continued: "My father is not involved in the operation of the Chicago Cubs in any way."
The Cubs are owned by a trust controlled by the Ricketts family.
Joe Ricketts, who earned his fortune as the founder and chairman of the TD Ameritrade brokerage, and his wife Marlene sold $ 403 million to fund the purchase.
Ricketts four children run the day holes daily. Tom Ricketts is the chairman; On the board are Pete Ricketts, the Republican governor of Nebraska; Todd Ricketts, Finance President of the Republican National Committee; and Laura Ricketts, who was a great bundle for Obama's presidential campaigns and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Ricketts family bought a 95 percent stake in Cubs and Wrigley Field from Tribune Company in 2009.
In other sports leagues, offensive behaviors have resulted in owners selling their franchises. Donald Sterling was forced to sell Los Angeles Clippers by N.B.A. After a bond of him making racist comments became public. Sterling was banned from the league for life.
Jerry Richardson, owner of the NFL Carolina Panthers, announced that he would sell his team shortly after a report came out that revealed he had been charged with sexually harassing employees and making racist comments.
In September, the NBA became a fine Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, for the way he and team officials handled sexual harassment complaints.
For Joe Ricketts, this is not the first time his political activities have damaged cububs. He is an important founder for conservative reasons and gave $ 1 million to a Political Action Committee supporting Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.
In 2012, The New York Times reported that Joe Ricketts was considering spending $ 10 million on a campaign it would attack Obama's connection to preaching Jeremiah Wright, a former spiritual counselor whom Obama condemned during the 2008 presidential campaign. Cubs Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for $ 300 million in public money as part of a $ 500 million renovation by Wrigley Field and the surrounding area.
Emanuel, serving in the White House as Obama's Chief of Staff, was allegedly "livid" over the proposed campaign and stopped talking to Cub officials for the renovation shortly thereafter. The Ricketts family eventually financed the renovation privately. These renovations are in progress.
In a statement on Tuesday, Emanuel condemned the emails. "Joe Ricketts once said I didn't share his values. Sad words were never spoken," he said. "The ignorance and intolerance he has undertaken is not welcome in Chicago. I am proud not to share his bigoted opinions. Hades have no home in Chicago."