A scorching June afternoon, the historic Wrigley Field was the perfect backdrop.
Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, holds a rare position in the men’s professional sports league. She is one of the few women currently at the ownership level. And as Chairman of the Cubs Charity, Ricketts witnessed first-hand how sports can impact the community.
She didn’t grow up for a career in sports, but Ricketts says she was the best athlete in the family.
“My brother probably disagrees with it, but my mother doesn’t. She knows,” Ricketts said with a smile in a recent interview with Tribune. “That was me.”
Born five years after Title IX passed in 1972, Ricketts was one of the first generation of girls to benefit from this amendment, including sporting opportunities. Recalling that she played tee-ball when she was five, by the time she entered high school, volleyball, softball, basketball, and trucks filled the calendar. Recently she started playing tennis with her wife Brooke.
“It’s hard to exaggerate how it affected my life, and it made me honest with me today,” Ricketts said of the sport. “Sports teach you to be a teammate. Tell you to put yourself there. Tell you to work really hard. Tell you about elasticity. Do your best or do something. As long as you try it, it will tell you that it is not embarrassing to fail. New arrival.
“I know all of them involved in my development and who I am to this day.”
Ricketts also make the distinction that they are the first open and gay owners of Major League Baseball. Ricketts, who was out when her family bought the Cubs in 2009, admits that breaking the barrier can be a burden. But she believes it’s an opportunity.
“I may be a queer woman, but I’m also a white woman,” Ricketts said. ?? I don’t know what it means to walk in their shoes, but you can start by understanding what it means to be considered like everyone else, not equality. I have this incredible access and incredible privileges.
“Obviously, it comes out in baseball …. As a queer person in the room, I have the confidence that it gives me room for conversation and that people can grow and learn from it.”
Her sports foundations helped Ricketts navigate the Michigan Law School and eventually worked as a lawyer in a highly competitive, predominantly male environment. Ricketts remembers that women in law school formed a study group to encourage and support each other. Since then, this dynamics has been demonstrated for Ricketts through her work at the local and national levels.
In addition to leading the Cubs philanthropy and creating programming for young people, Ricketts co-founded LPAC in 2012. This is the first queer women-focused super PAC to support and support LGBTQ + and candidates working on women’s equality and social justice. She also served on the board of the National Leadership Council of Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ + citizenship nonprofit, and EMILY’s List, an organization that works to select pro-choice women from the Democratic Party of Japan.
“I am familiar with the unique position I am in,” Ricketts said. “I’m happy to say that it wasn’t as unique as it was ten years ago, but for professional sports women, it still feels like a trickle, and it’s a very slogan to get more, but we’re slowly gaining momentum. I feel that the people who play these roles, the impact they have on them, are immeasurable and I feel responsible for them. “
A big project is waiting for Ricketts and the organization through Cubs charity. They plan to build an urban youth academy to accommodate some of the sports-based youth development programs for boys and girls. This project will be officially announced in the near future.
The academy features a sports field and community center that includes at least one indoor infield. Expected to be built in an investment-requiring Chicago area, it attracts young people from all over the city.
“We’re really trying to be the best. In the case of Cubs charity, that doesn’t just mean the way our business and staff do it,” Ricketts said. “It’s not only because it’s the best, but also because it shows the impact you can have and it’s a model for other teams. Let’s see what they did because they are doing it right, “and I want to be a team in terms of diversity, fairness and inclusiveness.
Ricketts says that progress has been made in the diversity of Cubs front office staff, with just under 40% being female and “my estimate should be 51%.” She wants to do more — she involves working with Major League Baseball to increase the fairness of the sport. Her three mothers, Ricketts, see this as an area where she can grow because of her high profile of professional sports.
Behind the scenes, Ricketts are trying to influence change. Last year, when the Cubs were looking for a new commentator on the Marquee Sports Network, Ricketts urged network officials to talk to women about their position. Beth Mowins finally To call a handful of games. At the Cubs board, Ricketts, often the only woman in the room, revealed that these roles require more women and people of color.
In her position, Ricketts points out the need for an environment and culture that helps women to take the lead, and why they can’t hire women to stay in or join the organization. He states that he needs to ask a question.
“My personal mission and my belief is that we need women in the position of power and leadership. Not only women, but as a society, as a planet, we all need it. “.” Ricketts said. “Without women in leadership and power positions in sports, government, politics, education and business, we will be confiscated.
“We lose what we can do, what we can achieve personally. We lose what we can achieve as gender. But we are all what we are, what we are, as a community, and as a society. I’m losing what I can achieve. “
Being part of a family-owned group can lead to more personal scrutiny, especially when different politics are involved. Her relatives are especially Republicans, Executive Committee member Ricketts Members of the Democratic National Committee do not feel that she needs to make it a public level tit-for-tat situation.
However, she feels forced to talk to her family to understand where they are coming from and to understand her point of view. From someone else’s shoes. “
“When you have a family of greater means and they are all doing a lot, they are all trying to influence the world for what they feel is everyone’s greater good. I’m here, “said Ricketts. And you own a baseball team together and have that visibility. There is a note between what you are doing and what you are known to do and what you are like to be with the whole family. I want to know what I am doing and what I have achieved. “
Title IX played a major role in Laura Ricketts’ life. “The impact it has is immeasurable,” says Chicago Cubs co-owner and MLB breakthrough.
Source link Title IX played a major role in Laura Ricketts’ life. “The impact it has is immeasurable,” says Chicago Cubs co-owner and MLB breakthrough.