Professional sports have always had a rough relationship with sexism. From how much female athletes are paid compared to men, to how domestic violence against women is often minimized or simply ignored, we’ve a ways to go when it comes to ridding the sports world of misogyny. That was made even clearer through a particularly egregious infraction from the Ogden Raptors, a Pioneer League affiliate of the Dodgers in Utah.
They announced something they called “Hourglass Appreciation Night” and it all goes downhill from there.
The basic gist is that 18 women in bikinis were going to be paraded about the park over the course of an upcoming baseball game. That’s pretty sexist in and of itself, but the language of the (now removed) press release used to promote the event got truly absurd. It included lines like “the home team hosts the Billings Mustangs, but the real thoroughbreds will join Raptors broadcaster A.P. Harreld in the booth.” And it ends with a line so cringe-ingly gross that you almost wonder if the whole thing is a joke.
Fans will have the opportunity to pose for pictures with the lovely ladies as we showcase seriously splendid visual appeal: Utah’s legendary mountains, Dodgers and Reds farmhands—and gorgeous women whose curves rival those of any stud pitching prospect!
The promotion explained that “Hourglass Appreciation Night” would be taking place in August and “since August is the eighth month of the calendar year, and an 8 looks tantalizingly similar to an hourglass, be there a better way to remind the world that baseball needs no clock than to feature 18 hourglass-shaped color commentators?” Well, yes, there “do be” a huge number of better ways. Almost any way would be better, come to think of it.
The promotion was met with a huge and swift amount of backlash online, and has been removed from the Raptors’ site, although they have yet to respond to any request for comment.