When you’ve gone 100 years without a World Series victory, you’ll take all the wins you can get. So congratulations go out to the Chicago Cubs for being the first big league franchise to have an openly gay person as an owner.
In a major development, the Chicago Cubs have become the first major-league sports franchise to have an openly gay owner. On Oct. 30, the Ricketts family were announced as the new owners of the Cubs, buying the team, Wrigley Field and a share in Comcast SportsNet Chicago for $845 million from the Tribune Co, according to MLB.com.
Among the purchasers is Laura Ricketts, a lesbian who now becomes the first out individual to own a professional sports team, according to MarketToMarketLLC.com. According to ABC7Chicago.com, Laura, who lives in Chicago, is a member of the board of Lambda Legal, a national organization fighting for gay rights—including same sex marriage.
Notice we’re aren’t talking about the first-ever major league team owned by a gay person.
“Openly” is the operative word.
I’m surprised it took this long for something like this to happen, considering that several MLB teams have held homosexually-themed promotions at the ballpark for years now.
And the only reason it did happen, from what I can tell, is that Ms. Ricketts was already out when her family purchased the team.
I have no doubt that there are members of other ownership groups in major league sports who are gay, but remain in the closet. With the news of Ricketts, perhaps we’ll see other owners come out now. Not to mention players.
So what will be the circumstances of a player coming out? The chance to score a huge payday on a book or movie. Especially a second-line player who could really elevate his profile with the admission.