Joe Ricketts, patriarch of family that owns Chicago Cubs, under fire for controversial emails

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Joe Ricketts, the billionaire businessman and patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs, is under fire for controversial emails that leaked this week.

"It was shocking, it was hurtful, it was untrue, which is what was so disappointing," said Asha Binbek, CAIR-Chicago.

The Chicago chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Chicago reacted Tuesday to Rickett's emails.

"Sports are supposed to bring us together," said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of CAIR-Chicago. "The Cubs need to act."

Splinter News reported Monday on some of Ricketts' email. Among the emails posted was a quote saying, "I am proud...But you call me racist. Why is it that only white can be racist?"

Another email said, "...we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism...they have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world..."

Ricketts issued a statement saying, "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."

His son, Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, also released a statement, saying, "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."

Rehab said they have heard from Tom Ricketts and are planning a meeting. He said he hopes to work on a plan moving forward so that the respect Tom Ricketts spoke of in his statement is reflected in actions by the Cubs organization.
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