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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Former White Sox head trainer alleges sexual orientation-based bias
2022-05-11

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Brian Ball, a former head trainer for the Chicago White Sox, has filed suit against the organization and General Manager Frederick Hahn.

In the lawsuit, Ball alleges he was unjustly terminated in October 2020 without explanation, according to a press release from Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC, the firm representing him. He added that, after allegedly being pressured to sign a separation agreement, it was discovered that after being with the team for two decades (as an assistant athletic trainer and a head trainer), the motivation for the termination was based on his sexual orientation.

The lawsuit alleges the team's conduct amounted to discrimination, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Ball, 50, also claims discrimination on the bases of age and disability, according to the complaint Windy City Times received. He also said that the team defamed him by "falsely stating that he suffered from gambling, alcohol and/or substance-abuse problems in 2020." In addition, Ball said that his replacement was "a less qualified, non-disabled, non-homosexual male under 40 years of age."

Ball is seeking punitive, declaratory and monetary relief.

In a statement Windy City Times received, the White Sox said the following:

"The Chicago White Sox organization categorically denies the baseless allegations made by former Head Trainer Brian Ball in his lawsuit against the club.

"It is extremely disappointing that a former colleague, who was supported, developed and promoted over two decades, chose to attack the club in this way. It is also surprising to many who know Brian, and supported him throughout his career, to read the allegations included in his lawsuit.

"Brian's dismissal from the organization was based on his performance and did not run afoul of any of the protections afforded to employees under the law."

In a separate statement to Windy City Times, Chicago White Sox Vice President of Communications Scott Reifert added, "One thing I will point out, and it is confirmed in Brian's suit, is that he was promoted to head trainer of the White Sox in 2018 with full knowledge of his sexual orientation."

—Andrew Davis


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