What Horrible Right-wing (or Criminal) Cause Is Your Favorite Sports Team Connected To?

When the New York Times dropped its bombshell last week disclosing a secret 54-page proposal outlining how a Republican Super PAC would spend $10 million attacking President Obama and painting him as some kind of “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln,” it wasn’t just interested Washington observers whose eyebrows were raised. The plan was apparently created and was to be funded by billionaire TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, whose family has owned a controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs since 2009. Within hours, Ricketts himself came out and rejected the plan that bore his name — in an obvious attempt to calm Chicago city leaders, who he’s hoping will shell out millions in public financing to renovate Wrigley Field.

It was far from the first time that scandal has reared its head in the highest echelons of sports ownership. Follow the connections closely enough and one will find dozens of franchise owners who have either direct of tangential relations to organized crime, government surveillance initiatives, deep-pocketed political entities and financial irregularities that bilked people out of billions. What horrible right-wing (or criminal) cause is your favorite team connected to?

Chicago Cubs are owned by Joe Ricketts, who apparently planned to pour $10 million into an anti-Obama super PAC,which would have developed a Jeremiah Wright ad campaign

Los Angeles Dodgers are co-owned by Magic Johnson, whose group bought the team from Frank McCourt, who bought the team from Fox Entertainment Groupwhich is run by Rupert Murdoch 

New York Mets are owned by Fred Wilpon, who blindly invested with Bernie Madoff, who was convicted of running a$65 billion Ponzi scheme

San Diego Padres are owned by John Moores, who succeededTom Werner, who succeeded the wife of the late Ray Kroc, the man responsible for the global popularity of McDonald’s, which has helped contribute to unprecedented nationwide obesity

New York Jets are owned by Woody Johnson, who gave much financial support to the 2008 Republican National Convention, where there were hundreds of antiwar protesters arrested

Houston Texans are owned by Bob McNair, who gave $100,000 last year to the Make Us Great Again super PAC,which was formed to support Rick Perry’s presidential campaign

Chicago White Sox used to be owned by Charles Comiskey,whose cheapness led to the Black Sox scandal, which was influenced by Arnold Rothstein, who was notorious for orchestrating illegal gambling

Houston Astros are owned by Jim Crane, who was preceded byDrayton McLane Jr., who helped orchestrate a new stadium deal, which took millions in naming rights from Enron, which collapsed on account of billions of dollars in fraudulent accounting

Texas Rangers are co-owned by Nolan Ryan, who succeededTom Hicks, who bought the team from George W. 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.