Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts reaches deal to buy NWSL's Chicago Red Stars
Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts is leading a group that has agreed to purchase the National Women's Soccer League's Chicago Red Stars.
Ricketts said Tuesday in a statement she is "honored" to lead a group comprised mostly of female Chicago business leaders purchasing the team. The deal is pending approval of the NWSL Board of Governors.
"Building a championship culture begins with treating our players with the respect they deserve as women and athletes," Ricketts said. "We look forward to completing this transaction so that we can begin this new chapter for the team and the fans."
Ricketts is part of a group that purchased a roughly 10% stake in the WNBA's Chicago Sky in June.
Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler announced in December he is selling his stake in the team following an investigation that found emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic in the league.
Whisler's decision came two months after the team's board of directors voted to remove him as chairman and forbid him from participation in team operations. Players also called on him to sell the team.
Former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and the law firm of King & Spaulding released results in early October of an investigation that detailed the series of abuses and misconduct that impacted multiple teams in the league, including the Red Stars. The report stated that Whisler was aware of the emotional and verbal abuse by former coach Rory Dames dating to 2014 and dismissed the complaints by players.
Dames resigned following the 2021 season when The Washington Post published allegations of verbal and emotional abuse. Dames was one of five NWSL coaches who either were fired or resigned last season amid allegations of misconduct.