The Orem Owlz of Utah have cancelled their “Caucasian Heritage” promotion amid backlash following the shooting in Charlestown, S.C. last week.
The event was scheduled to take place in August and according to the team, “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.”
The press release from the team also included an apology saying, “We understand, in light of recent tragic events, that our intentions have been misconstrued. For that, we sincerely apologize.” The Owlz are a Minor League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Joey Zanaboni who was hired by the Owlz in early June as the director of media and play-by-play announcer. He resigned after clashing with the front office over the promotion.
He released a statement saying, “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.”
The Owlz cancelled the event after Zanaboni’s resignation, and he says, “I want to make clear that I did not write the press release titled ‘Owlz Cancel Event’ and, during the day of June 19, as the world learned of this promotion, I was not involved in helping any person or persons draw up that release.”
However, another cultural heritage night is still scheduled for later in the season. The promotion for July 10 is listed as, “Los Owlz: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Night”.