After using a derogatory term referring to Italian-Americans during an MLB Network show broadcast at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts issued a statement of apology through the team’s website Tuesday night.
The statement was released unsolicited to the website’s beat writer Tuesday night, with none of the other media outlets that regularly cover the team included in that communication by the club.
The team declined requests Wednesday night and Thursday for further comment.
The segment in which Ricketts made the remark while talking to host Kevin Millar on the “Intentional Talk” show is not included in the 33-minute, 27-second episode of the show posted on the mlbnetwork.com site, despite a reference in the introduction to Ricketts’ upcoming appearance – an omission of about 10 minutes compared to other posted broadcasts of the show:
http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2015/04/29/Podcast_94012283_1500k.m4vRicketts’ statement via cubs.com:
“Earlier in the evening, during some light-hearted banter on the MLB Network, I used a term that was offensive to some of our fans and Italian-Americans. Of course, I was wrong and I apologize. I hope all will be forgiven as we value the contributions of Italian-Americans to America’s pastime and the Chicago Cubs.”
Some of those Italian-Americans include the club’s All-Star first-baseman, Anthony Rizzo, and new manager, Joe Maddon.
Miller asked Ricketts to come up with an odd job for him to do at Wrigley Field, and Ricketts mentioned scoreboard operator, then asked Millar if he had a “[slur] tee” to wear, because “it’s pretty hot up there.”