The actions of White Sox general manager Rick Hahn and the club, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County, caused “significant moral and financial damage to Brian Paul, as well as damage to his reputation and name.” The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
In a team statement, the White Sox called Ball’s allegations “baseless” and promised to vigorously defend the organization’s reputation.
“It is deeply disappointing that a former colleague, who has been supported, developed and promoted over two decades, chose to attack the club in this way,” the team said on Tuesday. “It is also surprising to many who have known Brian, and have supported him throughout his career, to read the allegations contained in his lawsuit.”
The White Sox said the dismissal of the ball “was based on his performance and did not conflict with any of the protections afforded to employees by law”.
Chicago Bull hired, now 50, in September 2000 to serve as assistant coach alongside head coach Herm Schneider. The ball was on the sports coaching staff when the team won the world championship in 2005.
According to the lawsuit, White Sox management, including executive vice president Ken Williams and Hahn and associate general manager Jeremy Haber, learned in February 2018 that Ball was gay. The lawsuit does not specify how they became aware of the ball’s sexual orientation.
When Schneider’s retirement was announced in December, Paul was promoted to head athletic coach.
In February 2020, according to the lawsuit, Haber and chief medical advisor Paul told Paul that his position had been “changed” and he would take on a more management role.
According to the lawsuit, Ball was told he “should not offer any treatment to the players, but rather direct other coaches to do so”.
In July 2020, Paul was beaten up by two men and his car was stolen. After an examination by the team doctor, he was placed on sick leave.
According to the lawsuit, Hahn made “continuous statements” to athletic training staff in September 2020 that Paul had a gambling, alcohol or drug addiction linked to auto theft. The lawsuit said that none of the accusations “were or were true.”
According to the lawsuit, Hahn told Ball on October 26, 2020, that he was fired. He secured a severance package that was in accordance with the terms of his two-year contract with the team that was set to run until October 2021.
Paul claims he was contacted by a “White Sox management level representative” in December 2020, referred to as individual “A” in the suit. He was told that his termination was due to his sexual orientation, based on a “disclosure by an official of White Sox’s senior management,” according to the lawsuit.