It was to be a night of Wonder Bread on burgers with mayo, a jumping contest and a group watching of “Friends,” but “Caucasian Heritage Night” will never be.
The Orem Owlz, a minor league baseball team in Utah, were quickly criticized Friday night for scheduling a white appreciation event in the wake of the Charleston shooting. The team said the promotion was intended to be a lighthearted event, according to a statement.
Within hours of posting the promotion, the team canceled the event.
“We understand, in light of recent tragic events, that our intentions have been misconstrued. For that, we sincerely apologize,” read the team’s official statement.
“In light of everything that has happened in Charleston, South Carolina, it is very troubling,” Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP Tri-State Conference of Idaho, Nevada & Utah, told CNN affiliate KSL.
“Especially now, when there are so many white supremacist groups out there, and they’re looking for something like this.”
People flocked to Twitter on Friday to lob angry comments at the team using #CaucasianHeritageNight. Melanie Monroe, a Hispanic, said every night is Caucasian heritage night.
One Utah resident was ashamed that such a night was even created.
Other Utah natives shrugged and asked what was so bad about it. “Every other race has their night,” a man told CNN affiliate KSL.
Another defender asked what’s so bad about grilling meat and watching mixed-martial arts.
Some who defended the event were just as angry as those criticizing it. One person who commented on the Owlz’s official statement was asking for the night to be rescheduled.
“Please in the future have a bigger backbone. Or at least schedule this for later. Blaming you or other whites for what one white did in South Carolina is racist and caucasiaphobic.”