Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts piles shame on Cubs ownership family with ‘you people’ remark
The brother of Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts stepped in it Monday during a meeting with the mayor, police chief and community leaders in Omaha, Neb., where a 22-year-old black man was fatally shot by a white bar owner during protests of the George Floyd killing.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts actually went there.
The brother of Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts stepped in it Monday during a meeting with the mayor, police chief and community leaders in Omaha, Nebraska, where a 22-year-old black man was fatally shot by a white bar owner during protests of the George Floyd killing.
According to a pastor who took the story to social media in an emotional video, Ricketts began a sentence with the words, “The problem I have with you people,” and, well, does it even matter where the sentence went from there?
In the same video, pastor Jarrod Parker called Ricketts a “racist.”
Ricketts later said in a statement released by his office: “I chose my words poorly, and apologized when it became apparent that I had caused offense.”
The Republican governor stepped down from the Cubs’ board of directors in 2019, but this controversy will reflect on the family, which purchased the team in 2009.
The Rickettses’ ties to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party are deep, which doesn’t sit well with some Cubs fans even under relatively pleasant circumstances. Add what is widely seen as Trump’s mishandling of the country’s coronavirus response — and now his inflaming of tensions between protestors and law enforcement throughout the country — and the Ricketts clan has perhaps never been less warm and fuzzy.
Billionaire patriarch Joe Ricketts shamed the family last year with a racist, Islamophobic email scandal. Years before that, during Barack Obama’s bid for re-election, he funded a Super PAC that went after Obama in such incendiary fashion that it ended up costing the Cubs a $150 million public-funding package for renovations at Wrigley Field.
Todd Ricketts, brother of Tom and Pete, runs the fundraising for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.
Publicly, the Cubs try to keep politics and baseball separate. Good luck with that, right? It might be harder than ever.
Even after the Cubs issued a statement Tuesday offering support to the black community, there were those who criticized them for what wasn’t said — specifically, the words “police” or “brutality” — after four Minneapolis officers were fired and one of them, Derek Chauvin, charged with third-degree murder.
“The Cubs condemn racism in all its forms and decry violence against members of the Black community,” the statement said. “Bias and discrimination have no place in our society. We support peaceful protests and pledge to channel our energies to rebuilding our city, especially the disenfranchised neighborhoods, as a way to build a stronger Chicago. By our example we hope to build bridges and elevate the issue of equality for all members of society.”