The Orem Owlz, a Pioneer League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, canceled a "Caucasian Heritage" promotion scheduled for Aug 10 on Friday night. Plans for the event included Wonder Bread, Seinfeld and a vertical leaping challenge. Yeah ...
The Orem (Utah) Owlz, a minor league affiliate of the Angels, hosting a "Caucasian Heritage Night" in August. pic.twitter.com/gl3o3MFwQw— Martin (@Heisenbergkamp) June 19, 2015
The Owlz apologized in a statement:
Minor League Baseball, and the Orem Owlz, is about baseball, togetherness and family fun for all fans of all races, religions, and orientations. Our goal in this promotion, like any of our promotions, is to have fun and make fun of everyday normalcies. Our night was to include wonder bread on burgers with mayonnaise, clips from shows like Friends and Seinfeld and trying to solve the vertical leaping challenge. We understand, in light of recent tragic events, that our intentions have been misconstrued. For that, we sincerely apologize.
Fans and media on Twitter were a noooot really in love with the idea of this celebration of whiteness.
So, my Orem Owlz t-shirt is retired now.— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) June 19, 2015
Glad the Orem Owlz are canceling what was a pretty stupid idea to begin with: "Caucasian Heritage Night" http://t.co/OUkhzuU2CI— Matt Brown (@MattSBN) June 19, 2015
Rachel Dolezal throwing out the first pitch on Caucasian heritage night or nah @OremOwlz?— Feral Devitt (@phaserstopun) June 19, 2015
The Salt Lake Tribune reports the Owlz communications director resigned before Friday night's game.
Joey Zanaboni, who was hired by the Owlz as the director of media and communications and play-by-play radio announcer before the season, quit before Friday's game in Ogden against the Ogden Raptors. Zanaboni is the sports information director at Coahoma Community College, in Clarksdale, Miss.
And if it isn't clear why this was a bad idea, here you go:
"There were so many mistakes at so many different levels here," said Keith Strudler, director of the Marist College Center for Sports Communication, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
"We celebrate all sorts of different groups to recognize the diversity of this country, and some of the struggles that people have gone through," he said. "And when you celebrate privileged populations that have always been privileged, it marginalizes and mocks those that lack that power."