Houston businessman Jim Crane is about to buy the Astros for $680 million. According to Forbes, this could put MLB in an uncomfortable position, Donald Sterling-level uncomfortable. Crane’s company, Eagle Global Logistics, settled lawsuits for both hiring discrimination against minorities and women and multiple instances of Iraq War profiteering.
Here are some details from the original Houston Chronicle article about the discrimination allegations.
Crane told his subordinates not to hire blacks because “once you hire blacks, you can never fire them.” On other occasions, Crane explained the reason he wanted to keep blacks out of the company was that his top managers are bigoted and they would mistreat the minorities, “giving them no choice but to sue Eagle.”
Witnesses also said Crane did not permit the company to advertise job openings because he did not want to create a paper trail of unhired qualified minorities.
Worth noting: Only 203 of the 2,073 discrimination claims against the company held up on review. Also worth noting: the company had more than 200 substantiated incidents of racial and sexual discrimination. Rumors Bud Selig will force him to make amends by wearing a No. 42 Astros jersey for an entire season are unconfirmed.
The Department of Justice has also sued Eagle Global Logistics four separate times for war profiteering, both for overcharging the government and for paying out kickbacks to land lucrative contracts. The company was allegedly charging an extra 50 cents per kilogram in “war risk surcharges” on every shipment it made to Baghdad. No strangers to siphoning public funding, his fellow MLB owners should appreciate his ingenuity.
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