Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Chicago Cubs, is distancing himself from what he characterized as "racially insensitive" email exchanges involving his father, Joe Ricketts.

The messages were publicly leaked by

The elder Ricketts, the founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, holds no title with the Cubs.

"We are aware of the racially insensitive emails in my father's account that were published by an online media outlet," Tom Ricketts said in a statement. "Let me be clear: The language and views expressed in those emails have no place in our society.

"My father is not involved with the operation of the Chicago Cubs in any way. I am trusted with representing this organization and our fans with a respect for people from all backgrounds. These emails do not reflect the culture we've worked so hard to build at the Chicago Cubs since 2009."

The emails go back several years and include racist messages and jokes that Joe Ricketts comments on in a positive manner.