Ricketts’ politics will not put Cubs team, legacy to shame


Ricketts’ politics will not put Cubs team, legacy to shame

By Arts & Culture Editor

When the Cubs won the 2016 World Series Nov. 2, the team rewrote baseball history—a story that most likely will get its own chapter in Chicago’s history books or even a blockbuster movie. 

But along with the win came a disappointment—the news that the Ricketts family, owners of the Cubs, gave money to the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump. To hear that the owner of one of Chicago’s most beloved teams supports Trump was devastating to many. However, amid backlash and calls to boycott the team, it’s important to realize that the Cubs players do not represent their owners and should not be boycotted for the actions of their ownership, especially after what the team has done for the city.

In the wake of the election results, people started boycotting Trump-supported businesses and The Donald J. Trump Resistance campaign was created. As reported by the Daily Kos Nov. 14, the group, headed by New York Daily News’ senior justice writer Shaun King, urges people to stand up against bigotry, hatred and xenophobia by boycotting PayPal, Hobby Lobby, New Balance and the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs do not deserve to be on the list.

According to an Oct. 25 Chicago Reader article, Trump received hidden investments from the Ricketts family through super PAC Future45, a PAC created by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and the Ricketts family.  Todd Ricketts oversees the fund, which has reportedly raised at least $30 million to elect Trump, according to the Reader article. It is natural for some die-hard young Cubs fans who learned of this, and swung blue during the election, to be disappointed. But they have to look at the bigger picture: the Cubs players themselves do not necessarily support Trump and should not be looked at any differently just because of their owners’ political affiliations. Sports and politics do not go hand in hand and the love for the game and a team should not be undermined by hating Trump.

Boycotting the team at this point of the season is nonsensical anyway. Most Cubs merchandise is sold independently, so not buying merchandise will not hurt the team owners. 

Games are over until Spring training in February. Now that they won and the World Series is over, the backlash is not significant to the owners, and will likely go unnoticed by most people. Maybe Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts knew this long before the Cubs went to the World Series. In a Sept. 28 Chicago Sun-Times article, Ricketts said he was not at all worried about public backlash the family had received regarding its support of Trump. He said it was no big deal, and history proved it clearly wasn’t.

It is deeply upsetting that big money runs in small circles and corporations like Home Depot and the Cubs are running the same laps. This concept is how the top conservatives control much of the country’s major companies and could be a reason why Trump was elected. However, leave the Cubs, their players and their beautiful legacy on the field and in our hearts, for they worked hard and won Chicago a long overdue celebration.