A minor league baseball team cancelled its scheduled “Caucasian Heritage Night” and its communications director resigned after facing fierce backlash for the event in light of the Charleston black church massacre.
Utah’s Orem Owlz, an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, intended the Aug. 10 event to be a to be a tongue-in-cheek opportunity “to have fun and make fun of everyday normalcies,” the team said in a statement released on mlb.com.
“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,” the statement said. “For that, we sincerely apologize.”
The announcement followed a huge backlash on social media.
While the Charleston victims families were offering prayers & forgiveness the Orem Owlz were busy planning “Caucasian Heritage Night” #shame
— Diane (@bellecali_xo) June 19, 2015
Director of communications Joey Zanaboni released a statement on Twitter announcing his resignation.
Zanaboni said he was hired on June 6 and only found out about the event recently and expressed concerns to the front office.
“‘Caucasian Heritage Night’ was a promotion that was conceived and put on the schedule prior to my time with the club, and I was unaware of it before I arrived in Orem,” he wrote.
He said his concerns were not taken seriously by the team.
“I am deeply disturbed by this situation. It has been very taxing on me emotionally. My dream has been to call baseball as part of an MLB franchise, and I am grateful that I was part of the Angels organization – even if my time in the system was extremely limited,” he said.
The Twitterverse responded to the news Saturday.
My side of why I resigned over planned “Caucasian Heritage Night.” Did so in protest, took a stand for good. http://t.co/dorKpMpnRy
— Joey Zanaboni (@joey_zana) June 20, 2015
#OremOwlz team Cancels ‘Caucasian Heritage’ Night Following Backlash… #RachelDolezal disappointed she won’t get to throw out first pitch.
— O Bow Mao Truth Team (@BowMaoTruthTeam) June 20, 2015
Why should Caucasians have to be ashamed of being Caucasian? So many hate posts for Caucasian Heritage Night. BAD WHITE PEOPLE!!!
— Larry L Williams (@_LarryWilliams_) June 19, 2015
@myfoxla Are white people now restricted citizens?
— Son of Thunder (@FiliusTonitrui) June 21, 2015
@myfoxla Double Standard. What works for one isn’t convenient for the other. They can dish it out but don’t like it when other groups do.
— LA Woman (@LA_Woman711) June 21, 2015
@theScore bc white people are not allowed to have days like everyone else it’s racist
— WeTheNorth (@LeafGuyCarlo) June 20, 2015
@theScore And the problem with that is?
— T.(eam Canada) (@BigNasty604) June 20, 2015
The latest example of cowering to the media. Baseball team cancels ‘Caucasian Heritage Night’ http://t.co/PnlSIr4ep6 via @WXII
— Mike (@mrbee1952) June 21, 2015
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