Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts on Monday distanced himself from what he called "racially insensitive" email exchanges involving his father, Joe Ricketts, after they were publicly leaked by splinternews.com.
"We are aware of the racially insensitive emails in my father's account that were published by an online media outlet," Tom 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."
Major League Baseball, in a statement issued Tuesday, said they were aware of the email exchanges.
"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," the statement said. "Providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone is extremely important for MLB and our 30 clubs."
The elder Ricketts holds no title with the Cubs but is also the father of Pete Ricketts, governor of Nebraska, and Todd Ricketts, who is the Republican National Committee finance chair. Joe Ricketts is the founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade.
The emails go back several years and include racist messages and jokes that Joe Ricketts comments on in a positive manner. He issued a statement as well:
"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."