Letter to the Editor: Cats should not play at Wrigley Field

Dick Reif

NU president Morty Schapiro champions diversity on campus, supports a race-based admissions policy & urged NU to submit a friend of the court brief backing this policy at the University of Texas during the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Fisher v. Texas case. Why did he reverse course by approving a Wildcat football game at Wrigley Field this fall? Mother Jones magazine reported that Chicago Cubs (& Wrigley Field) owner Joe Ricketts spent $5 million last year to defeat the presidential candidate he called: “a metrosexual black Abe Lincoln” (a.k.a. Barack Obama).  His quote ran under the headline: “Major League Assholes” in the magazine’s July-August issue, page 17.

If this quote is accurate, then playing a Wildcat game at Wrigley Field is like hosting an NU alumni dinner at Paula Deen’s restaurant. In fact, it’s worse because Ricketts put his money where his racist mouth is. His quote offends many, if not all, NU students, alums & faculty. Why is this particular game scheduled for Wrigley Field instead of Ryan Field, where all NU home games are usually played? To boost market share. NU’s athletic department hopes to spark interest among Chicago alums to increase their turnout at Ryan Field games. There are better ways of doing this without sacrificing NU’s integrity. If this game is played at 1060 W. Addison instead of Ryan Field, it means NU puts marketing above morality and its moral compass points directly to the bottom line.

One more question: How did Mother Jones learn about Ricketts’ quote, but not NU’s president or athletic director? Maybe if frequent flyer Morty stopped globe trotting at NU’s expense and spent more time on campus, he’d know what’s happening on his home turf. Northwestern doesn’t need an absentee president, or a hypocritical one.

— Dick Reif (Medill ’64)