Brian Ball, ex-trainer for the Chicago White Sox, sues Rick Hahn, GM, and team over termination of his contract in 2020

CHICAGO — Former athletic trainer for the White SoxIn a lawsuit, he claims that he was fired from the team due to his sexual orientation, disability, and age.

According to a lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County, Brian Ball suffered “significant emotional, monetary, and reputational damages” as a result of Rick Hahn's actions. Unspecified damages are sought in the lawsuit.

The White Sox described Ball’s allegations as “baseless” in a statement that was released by the team. They also promised to vigorously defend their organization's reputation.

The team stated Tuesday that it was disappointing that a former colleague who had been supported, developed, and promoted for over 20 years, decided to attack the club this way. It is also shocking to many people who know Brian and have supported him throughout his entire career to see the allegations contained in his lawsuit.

According to the White Sox's assertions, Ball's dismissal was based upon his performance and did no violation of any law-protected employees.

Chicago hired Ball at 50 to be their assistant trainer in September 2000. Ball was part of the team's athletic training staff that won the 2005 World Series.

According to the lawsuit, White Sox management including Ken Williams, Hahn, and assistant general manager Jeremy Haber learned that Ball was gay in February 2018. The suit does not specify how they learned of Ball's sexual orientation.

Ball was promoted to the position of head athletic trainer after Schneider's December retirement.

According to the suit, Haber and a senior medical advisor with the team told Ball in February 2020 that his position had been “altered” and that he would be serving more as an administrator.

According to the lawsuit, Ball was told that he shouldn't be giving treatment to players but that he should direct other trainers to do so.

Ball was beaten and his car taken by two men in July 2020. He was then examined by a team doctor and placed on medical rest.

According to the suit Hahn made “continuous declarations” to athletic training personnel that Ball had a gambling addiction, alcoholism, or drug addiction in September 2020. This was allegedly related to carjacking. According to the suit, none of these accusations were true.

Hahn told Ball that he was being dismissed on October 26, 2020. A severance package was offered to Ball that was identical to his two-year contract that was due to expire in October 2021.

Ball alleges that he was contacted December 2020 by a White Sox representative at the management level. He is also referred as “individual A” in this suit. According to the lawsuit, Ball was informed that his termination was due to his sexual orientation. This was based on a disclosure by a White Sox senior manager representative.

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