Cubs owner apologizes after racist emails emerge
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Joe Ricketts, the patriarch of the family that owns Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs, apologized on Tuesday after an online publication uncovered a series of past emails sent from his account that were racist and Islamophobic.

In some of the emails published by Splinter News on Monday, Ricketts and others can be seen discussing conspiracy theories about former President Obama’s birthplace and religion while making Islamophobic remarks such as, "Islam is a cult and not a religion."   

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In a statement to The Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, Ricketts said that he deeply regrets the exchanges in the emails.

“I deeply regret and apologize for some of the exchanges I had in my emails,” Ricketts said.

“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,” the 77-year-old continued. 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) condemned the remarks in a statement on Tuesday.

“Joe Ricketts once said that I do not share his values,” Emanuel wrote. “Truer words were never spoken. The ignorance and intolerance he has espoused are not welcome in Chicago. Those are not the values I learned from my parents, and those are not the values Amy and I have instilled in our children.

Major League Baseball also sought to distance itself from Ricketts’ remarks, saying, “While many of the emails were not written by Mr. Ricketts, the content is extremely offensive and completely at odds with the values and principles of Major League Baseball.”

“Providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone is extremely important for MLB and our 30 clubs.”

In one of the exchanges uncovered by Splinter News, Ricketts accuses Obama of "hiding something in his past that is very bad," including claiming that the former president "lied his way into Harvard" and told "the Saudi royal family he was fighting in Afghanistan with the Muslim Jihad against the Russians, so they would help him get into a law school."

Other emails revealed show Ricketts referred to Islam as a threat to modern civilization and describe the religion as a "cult."

"I’m giving some consideration to having a book written with the title 'Islam, Religion or Cult'. It would describe many things about Islam but most importantly describe and define where Islam crosses the line from religion to a cult," Ricketts also wrote in 2012, according to Splinter News.