Just when my Caucasian brethren and sisteren were finally recovering from racist hazards like calling the cops on black people for:
- Babysitting white children
- Accidentally brushing a woman with a backpack
- Going to a public pool
- Sitting a seat away while flying
- Napping in a dorm lounge
- Leaving an Airbnb
- Taking a college tour
- Sitting in Starbucks
Cubs owner Joe Ricketts just had to go and set white folks back at least eight decades. And he did a real bang up job of it, too! How many people have the capacity to single-handedly take the heat off Virginia Governor Ralph Northam?
The Splinter website somehow managed to get ahold of a slew of the billionaire Ricketts’ 2009 to 2013 email musings that basically referred to Islam a “cult,” denounced then President Obama in some new and fascinating ways, and promoted the kind of conspiracy theories that make Facebook and your wacky next door neighbor seem sane by comparison.
Let’s not forget those hilarious racist jokes, either.
The highlights of those missives include, but aren’t nearly limited to:
- Declaring “We cannot ever let Islam become a large part of our society.”
- Calling racist jokes blatantly employing the N-word a “great laugh”
- Declaring “I [sic] tired of Political Correct, Multicultural and Diversity aspects of our culture.”
- Claiming President Obama was “really a Saudi/Muslim ‘plant’ in the White House.”
And my personal favorite:
- Before he changed his last name to “Obama” in an effort to defraud the IRS, the former President worked as a gay prostitute and a heroin drug mule.
As you might imagine, the elder Ricketts offered the typical half-hearted mea culpa:
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.
Right! The only thing Ricketts “regrets” is getting caught and that correspondence perfectly reflects his “value system.” Had it been just one or two questionable emails over that four-year period, an apology might’ve worked, but there are dozens of them.
Even after Pete Ricketts, the current Nebraska governor, warned his father to verify his “facts” before putting those conspiracy theories forth in 2010, Joe completely ignored that sage advice and continued on his merry narrow-minded way.
Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts condemned his father’s bigotry and tried to cover his ass by pointing out that, “My father is not involved with the operation of the Chicago Cubs in any way.”
Tell us something we don’t already know! Ever since the George Steinbrenner fiasco, MLB owners aren’t allowed to interfere with the day-to-day operations of their teams. But that doesn’t mean Joe Ricketts is any less the face of the franchise.
And the Ricketts’, with the exception of Maureen, unflinching financial and ideological support of Donald Trump makes this problem so much worse.
How many minority free agents – or free agents in general – will sign with the Cubs now? How many players will veto trades to the Cubs because they don’t want to be associated with that kind of intolerance? Will black fans continue to show up at Wrigley Field?
With the long-term health of the Chicago Cub franchise at stake, there’s only one solution.
If the NBA can force former Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell that team after he told his girlfriend not to post Instagram pictures of herself with minorities at home games, then Major League Baseball can do the same damn thing. And the Commissioner has the power to do it, too.
We’ll see if Rob Manfred has the cojones.
The bottom line is, Joe Ricketts’ level of bias makes Sterling look like a rank amateur. He and his family have no place in baseball.