CHICAGO — A former head athletic trainer for White Sox has sued the team for discrimination — alleging they terminated him due to his sexual orientation.

Brian Ball said his dreams came true when the White Sox named him head trainer in 2018.

“As players in the minor leagues dream of becoming big league players, trainers dream of being a big league trainer and so to get that opportunity I was just blown away,” Ball said.

He replaced Herm Schneider after working as an assistant trainer in the organization for nearly twenty years. But in 2020, the White Sox fired Ball – he claims – because he’s gay.

“It even makes it even worse that it happened from you know some place where you grew up, from home and probably that’s what’s most disheartening of the whole thing,” Ball said.

Ball says the White Sox learned he was gay months before his promotion and he was an inspiration to others like him in baseball.

“The courage it took for Brian to come out in 2018,” his attorney John Winters Jr. said. “It’s even greater courage right now to have this fight in 2022.”

Ball’s attorney says leading up to his firing, he was the victim of a carjacking in the summer of 2020 and took a medical leave. Even after his doctors cleared him to go back to work, the Sox told him to stay home.

They terminated his employment in October of that year.

“I asked why and there was no reason,” Ball said.

The lawsuit alleges an individual identified only as the letter A, a management level representative of the White Sox, told him months later his termination from his position was based on his sexual orientation. His attorney claims there are multiple people in the organization who will back up that allegation.

Ball, 50, said he hasn’t found work since he was let go — and he’s moving forward with this lawsuit to make a difference.

The White Sox called the allegations “meritless” in the following statement.

“The Chicago White Sox organization categorically denies the baseless allegations made by former Head Trainer Brian Ball in his lawsuit against the club.

It is extremely disappointing that a former colleague, who was supported, developed and promoted over two decades, chose to attack the club in this way. It is also surprising to many who know Brian, and supported him throughout his career, to read the allegations included in his lawsuit.

The Chicago White Sox are unified against discrimination in any form and support anti-discrimination laws that provide protection to those wronged by an employer. Those laws are essential to protecting anyone who has been victimized by discrimination and to creating a culture of empowerment and opportunity for all individuals.

Brian’s dismissal from the organization was based on his performance and did not run afoul of any of the protections afforded to employees under the law.

Although we do not intend to provide further comment until this matter is resolved, we are committed to vigorously defending the club’s reputation against Brian’s meritless allegations, including the pursuit of all remedies under the law.”