Chicago Cubs chairman: Father's emails were 'racially insensitive'
© Getty Images

The chairman of the Chicago Cubs says that emails sent by his father questioning former President Obama's birthplace and citizenship were "racially insensitive" and do not represent the views of the club.

In a statement Monday to ESPN, Tom Ricketts responded to emails published by Splinternews.com in which his father, Joe Ricketts, and others discussed conspiracy theories about Obama's birthplace and religion, while describing Islam as an enemy of Western society.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We are aware of the racially insensitive emails in my father's account that were published by an online media outlet," Ricketts said in a statement Monday. "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," he continued.

In the emails uncovered by Splinter, the Ricketts family patriarch 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 refer to Islam as a threat to modern civilization and describe the religion of more than 1.5 billion people 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," Joe Ricketts wrote in 2012, according to Splinter.

The elder Ricketts also issued an apology for the emails in a statement obtained by ESPN.

"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," Ricketts wrote.