'Caucasian Heritage Night' Prompts Orem Owlz' New Media Director/Play-By-Play Voice To Quit
June 22, 2015 at 10:14 AM (PT)
The controversy over minor league baseball's OREM OWLZ and the scheduling, and subsequent cancellation, of "Caucasian Heritage Night" has led the team's recently-hired Media Director and radio play-by-play announcer JOEY ZANABONI to resign in protest of the promotion.
In a statement posted to TwitLonger, ZANABONI said that he was unaware of "Caucasian Heritage Night" before arriving in OREM to start the job on JUNE 6th, and when he was made aware, he said that he "raised serious concerns about it with multiple members of the front office, both verbally and via e-mail. 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."
He resigned on JUNE 19th and says he is "deeply disturbed by this situation ... I did not want a decision made by the organization’s front office without my support to affect the work that I am passionate about but, in the end, the matter is simple: I have made the choice to no longer be part of the OREM OWLZ and will not be involved with them going forward."
The team, the Rookie-class short-season PIONEER LEAGUE affiliate of the LOS ANGELES ANGELS, had scheduled the event for AUGUST 10th but cancelled it on FRIDAY (6/19) after the story went national and drew a negative response. The team said after the cancellation that the promotion was intended as a parody, releasing a statement that said in part, "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."