Bill Gubrud has high praise for Tom and Laura Ricketts and still roots for the Cubs. He doesn’t feel the same about Daniel Murphy.
“Anybody who knows me knows that I cannot stand the man,” Gubrud said.
Gubrud is the founder and organizer of Out at Wrigley, which had its 18th annual event at the game Sunday. According to Gubrud, Tom and Laura Ricketts helped make sure the event would be successful, even after difficulty finding a date.
“I trust the Rickettses,” Gubrud said. “Tom and Laura have been absolutely amazing.”
In 2015, Murphy said he disagreed with the lifestyle of MLB Ambassador for Inclusion Billy Bean, who is gay. On Thursday, Murphy was asked whether his views changed or he wanted to clarify his comments. On Sunday, Murphy said through a team representative that he would let his comments stand.
“Oh, dear,” Murphy said when asked if he had a message for LGBT fans who wouldn’t cheer for the team because of his presence. “I would hope that you would root for the Cubs.
“What I would say is that I’ve been able to really foster what I would call a really positive relationship with Billy Bean since that time. I’m really excited to continue to cultivate that relationship we’ve built. Billy, [through] his job … [plays] a vital role so that everyone feels included, not only in our industry of baseball but in all aspects of life.
“I hope that anyone who comes to Wrigley Field would feel welcome. That’s my hope. That’s the hope of Major League Baseball. And in speaking with Billy Bean, [through] the relationship we’ve been able to forge, that’s what he’s trying to do. That’s what we’re trying to do as an industry. We want people to feel welcome, whatever walk of life that might be.”
Laura Ricketts is the first openly gay owner of a major team. On Sunday, she tweeted she was consulted before the deal. She posted on Twitter that she, her brothers and Cubs executives had several conversations about the move and consulted with Bean.
“After these considered and thoughtful conversations, which took place precisely because of the Cubs’ sensitivities on the matter, I was on board with the trade,” she tweeted.
Gubrud credited the Rickettses for their efforts to make sure Wrigley Field is inclusive. He said Tom Ricketts told him he wants to make sure the LGBT community knows it’s welcome and that Wrigley will be “inclusive for everybody, no matter what sexual orientation, race, anything.”
Gubrud won’t “condemn” the Cubs for doing what they had to do, but he can’t support Murphy.
“It’s hard. I will not root for him. I can’t,” Gubrud said. “I want the Cubs to win, but in the same light, I can’t sit there and cheer Daniel Murphy on. It’s just hard for me.”