The Orem Owlz, a Utah-based team affiliated with the Angels, went a much different direction: “Caucasian Heritage Night.”
Did you hear the proverbial record skip? The Internet sure did. The existence of that Owlz theme night scheduled for Aug. 10 trended on Reddit on Friday until it hit a critical mass by mid-afternoon when just about every sports publication put out an article that basically asked, “WHAT?!”
“I suspect that this is born out of a benign yet ignorant impulse. Someone said ‘you know, it’d be way cheaper for us to combine Italian Heritage Night and Irish Heritage Night and [insert predominantly European country] Heritage Night into just one night,’ ” NBC Sports reporter Craig Calcaterra reasoned. “But by calling it ‘Caucasian Heritage Night’ you sort of change the entire tenor of the thing, ya know? Because there are some seriously different connotations involved once you go with that — which basically means ‘white’ — over any specific nationality.”
The Washington Post reached out to the Orem Owlz seeking comment about the origin of the idea, but had yet to hear back by the time of publication.
On the team’s Web site, the event is described like this: “Irish, Italian, Scandinavian, German…. or even Utahn! Whatever your background, celebrate it at the Home of the Owlz!”
There’s a lot going on there, including what seems like an admission that being from Utah equals a “Caucasian” heritage, which is especially ironic because the original settlers of Utah were the Ute, a decidedly non-Caucasian Native American tribe.
Twitter has even more questions (and jokes).
This story will be updated.