The name of the Ricketts familywhich owns the Chicago Cubshas been brought up in connection with Republican, anti-LGBTQ+ presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
According to Newsweek, DeSantis has signed a measure into law that will allow minor-league baseball players to be paid less than the state's minimum wage (which will be $12/hour in September) after the measure passed the Republican-dominated legislature.
Investigative reporter Jason Garcia, who previously claimed that MLB was lobbying in support of the legislation, noted, "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just signed a bill sought by billionaire owners of Major League Baseball teams that cuts minor league baseball players off from the minimum wage. Garcia added, "One day after this legislation was filed in Tallahassee, Joe Ricketts, the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade whose kids own the Chicago Cubs, gave DeSantis a $1 million donation." Ricketts donated $1 million to DeSantis' gubernatorial account in February, according to Politico.
Of course, DeSantis is known for attempting to erase various communities and for campaigning against what he says is a "woke" ideology. For the LGBTQ+ community, he is associated most closely with the so-called "Don't Say Gay" law, although he's also falsely compared puberty blockers to "chemical castration," according to GLAAD. (GLAAD released an accountability record of DeSantis, available at glaad.org/gap/ron-desantis.&; However, he also said no to an African American AP history course in Florida high schools and signed a bill into law barring the state's public colleges and universities from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs, NPR noted. These actions, among others, have led Equality Florida and the NAACP to issue travel advisories regarding Florida.
The notable exception to the Ricketts' deep GOP roots is Laura Rickettsan out lesbian and Cubs co-owner who is a politically active Democrat and who participated in the team's recent Pride Night.
In November 2020, ESPN released a report showing the political contributions made by sports owners in the United States, per The DePaulia. At that point, what was found was that owners had contributed $10 million to the Republican cause as opposed to $1.9 million for Democratic caucuses during the 2020 election cycle. Of the Ricketts siblings, Laura Ricketts ranked near the top, donating $1,715,425 to Democrats from 2016 to 2020. Todd Ricketts donated $162,235 to Republicans and Tom Ricketts gave $10,000 to bipartisan causes.