Utah Baseball Team Cancels ‘Caucasian Heritage Night’ After Backlash

By Kenrya Rankin Jun 22, 2015

Late last week Minor League Baseball’s Orem Owlz, based in Orem, Utah, canceled its “long-ago scheduled” Caucasian Heritage Night. Set for August 10, the themed game night was reportedly promoted as “Irish, Italian, Scandinavian, German…. or even Utahn! Whatever your background, celebrate it at the Home of the Owlz!”

The cancelation came after Twitter erupted with news of the event on Friday, a mere two days after nine black parishioners were massacred in a Charleston, South Carolina, church by a white man whose friends say he wanted to start a race war. 

As one Twitter user put it: “As a Utahn, I’m not entirely surprised, what is astonishing is how many people probably approved this idea and didn’t object SMH. ‪#Owlz”

The team quickly canceled the event, issuing this statement, which details the stereotypes the operation had planned to highlight:

You may have read that the Orem Owlz had long ago scheduled Caucasian Heritage Night as one of its 38 promotions. 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. The Owlz are committed to all its fans, families and all fans of baseball alike—no matter who you are. The event has been removed from our promotional schedule effectively immediately.