An event called “Caucasian Heritage Night” to be put on by a Utah minor league baseball team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-affiliated Orem Owlz, has been cancelled following severe social media backlash via #CaucasianHeritageNight, particularly in light of the recent admittedly racist shooting massacre in South Carolina.
The Orem Owlz baseball team in Utah scheduled Caucasian Heritage Night, or what some are calling a “white appreciation event,” long ago, before the racially-motivated South Carolina shootings, and that the Caucasian Heritage Night event was meant to be a “lighthearted” roast of Caucasian people, poking fun at white stereotypes, reports CNN,
But when the Orem Owlz put up a Caucasian Heritage Night post on Friday, promoting what they perceived to be an event mocking the behaviors and likes of white people, social media blew up, many, such as a woman calling herself Melanin Monroe, apparently offended and angered by the Caucasian Heritage Night event, thinking white people get enough attention as it is.
Caucasian Heritage Night?I must be misinformed, isn't Caucasian Heritage Night every day/holiday/history lesson??? #CaucasianHeritageNight— Melanin Monroe (@TsunamiRojas) June 20, 2015
Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP Tri-State Conference of Idaho, Nevada & Utah, told KSL the Caucasian Heritage event was particularly inappropriate after the South Carolina shootings and might be seen as something that legitimizes the views of white supremacists.
“In light of everything that has happened in Charleston, South Carolina, it is very troubling. Especially now, when there are so many white supremacist groups out there, and they’re looking for something like this.”
The blowback against Caucasian Heritage Night caught many in the Orem Owlz organization off guard, the team emphasizing in a statement that the event was meant to poke fun at whites, and had no intention of being disrespectful in the wake of the South Carolina tragedy.
“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.”
At the same time, the Orem Owlz Director of communications, Joey Zanaboni, released a statement of his own on Twitter, submitting his resignation from his Orem Owlz job while also noting the personal concerns he voiced against Caucasian Heritage Night that went “unheeded,” reports the Deseret News.
” ‘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. After learning of the promotion during my first week, I raised serious concerns about it with multiple members of the front office, both verbally and via email. I registered my disagreement with carrying out such a promotion. I also warned that this event — no matter the intention of it — would cause public backlash. My concerns were not taken seriously, and my advice went unheeded.”
Of course, Zanaboni’s concerns have now been confirmed with Caucasian Heritage Night being sent to the showers before ever stepping on the mound.
What is your take on the Orem Owlz’ cancelled Caucasian Heritage Night?
[Image via Baseball Road Trip]