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Orem Owlz cancel 'Caucasian Heritage Night'

(Ravell Call/Deseret News)


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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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OREM — The Orem Owlz, minor league affiliate team of the Los Angeles Angels, announced on its website Friday, then hastily canceled, a "Caucasian Heritage Night" to be held at its Brent Brown Ballpark on the campus of Utah Valley University on Aug. 10.

The Owlz' website advertises the event on its promotions page, advertising the night with the tagline "Irish, Italian, Scandinavian, German.... or even Utahn! Whatever your background, celebrate it at the Home of the Owlz!"

Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox spoke to the owner of the Owlz, who canceled the event.

Friday afternoon, the Owlz made a statement canceling the event:

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.

"Caucasian Heritage Night" has already received coverage on NBCSports.com. Craig Calcaterra, who covered the story, writes, "The idea behind those sorts of things (black and Latino heritage nights) is to correct an imbalance in cultural celebration and appreciation. When you’re part of the majority — especially if you are a historically hegemonic majority — you don’t get special celebrations and things like this. That’s sort of the entire point."

Calcaterra also wryly noted, "The timing could not be worse for this sort of thing."

Other Owlz promotional nights include "Office Space Night," "Princess Night" and "Shark Week" night.

The Orem Owlz, formerly the Provo Angels, play in Minor League Baseball's Pioneer League, classified as a rookie league that operates in Montana, Colorado, Idaho and Utah. The franchise has won the 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2009 Pioneer League championships. According to the Owlz website, the Owlz "strive to reflect the values and strengths of the Utah Valley community. The Orem Owlz provide a fun, friendly and safe environment to enjoy professional baseball." An email to the Owlz' PR team was eventually returned, but with only a link back to the statement itself.

Contributing: Andrew Adams

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Andy Larsen

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