Joe Ricketts, patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs, had several private emails published by Splinter containing racially insensitive language.
He particularly directs his ire towards Muslims, which he calls his natural enemy, and consipracy theories surrounding former President Barack Obama. He also forwards jokes with racial slurs involved in the punchlines.
Ricketts published an apology to his personal website on Monday night.
I deeply regret and apologize for some of the exchanges I had in my emails. 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.
Tom Ricketts, the man Cubs fans recognize as the owner of the team, issued a statement to The Athletic distancing himself and the team from his father, while denouncing the sentiments expressed.
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.
It's the latest in a series of controversial situations involving the Cubs. During the 2016 season, the Cubs traded for Aroldis Chapman, who began the season serving a 30-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy after a dispute with his girlfriend in South Florida. This offseason the Cubs have been criticized for their handling of domestic violence accusations regarding shortstop Addison Russell, choosing to not cut him and to be a part of the solution.
The team controversially traded for Daniel Murphy this summer, who previously said he doesn't agree with the "gay lifestyle," just five days before the team's planned Pride night to celebrate the LGBTQ community, which includes Cubs part-owner Laura Ricketts (she said she was consulted before the trade was made).