Hawzah News Agency (Chicago, US) - American Muslim fans of the Chicago Cubs want strong action after revelations this week that the patriarch of the family that owns the team for years emailed racist jokes and Islamophobic conspiracy theories. The Chicago Cubs are an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois.
The email exchanges between Joe Ricketts, the billionaire TD Ameritrade founder and Republican megadonor who purchased the Chicago Cubs in 2009, and various family and friends reportedly contained language that portrayed Islam as a "cult" and painted Muslims as the "enemy."
Both Ricketts and his son Tom Ricketts, the team's chairman, have apologized for the emails, first published by Splinter on Monday.
But more has to be done to repair the now-damaged relationship between the Chicago Cubs and Muslim fans, Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told HuffingtonPost.
"It is important that a beloved Chicago institution such as this does what is necessary to regain the trust of affected communities, and fans in general, and recommit to our collective principles of anti-hate and 'everybody in,' " Rehab said, referring to the Cubs' 2018 slogan.
In an email responding to an article about "Radical Islam," Joe Ricketts apparently wrote that Muslims are "naturally my (our) enemy" and that Islam is "dangerous element in our society." In another responding to false claims that Obama favored Muslims over Christians and Jews, Joe Ricketts reportedly wrote that there is a continued "assault on Christianity in America."
The emails also contained racist jokes about Latinx Americans and black Americans. In one, Joe Ricketts apparently wrote that he was "tired" of "Political Correct, Multicultural and Diversity aspects of our culture."
Kamran Hussain, president of Chicago's Muslim Community Center and a self-professed "15 year season ticket-holder and lifelong die-hard Cub fan," said Joe Ricketts' apology seemed insincere. He asked the billionaire to attend a meeting with local Muslims next week.
"I love the Cubs and I have loved them since 1983 and I have been with them through all the ups and downs and just as I want my children to be good Muslims, it is also very important that they grow up to be Cubs fans and enjoy their summers in Chicago at Wrigley Field," Hussain wrote in an open letter on Tuesday.