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The Ogden Raptors apologized Tuesday for an "Hourglass Appreciation Night" promotion, an allusion to women's bodies, that the team said was "not approved or scheduled by club ownership or management."
"The Ogden Raptors regret that an unauthorized press release was disseminated over the weekend announcing a promotion that was not approved or scheduled by club ownership or management. This promotion will not take place and steps have been put in place to ensure this will not happen again. The Ogden Raptors offer a sincere apology to anyone who was offended by the promotion itself and the contents of the press release, and in no way supports or condones the objectification of women. It is not reflective of the values of the Ogden Raptors, Los Angeles Dodgers organization, the Pioneer Baseball League or Minor League Baseball."
The Pioneer League rookie affiliate of the Dodgers announced in a release Monday on its website that an Aug. 11 game at Lindquist Field would feature Salt Lake City-based Stars Talent Studio providing "a different stunner each half inning."
"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!"
Pioneer League president Jim McCurdy said the league has "general oversight on everything," including promotions planned by individual teams, but that he has nothing to add to the Raptors' statement and "didn't know anything about it."
Stars Talent Studio CEO Amber Evans initially said her agency was planning to participate in the promotion, but deferred to A.P. Harreld about the details. Harreld is the Director of Voice-over for Stars Talent Studio, according to the agency's website, and also is the play-by-play announcer for the Raptors.
Harreld, when reached by phone said, "I don't have anything to say right now. I'm in a meeting, so let me talk to you guys later," before ending the phone call.
Evans said the team initially contacted the agency to see if it would be interested in sending models to the game to do promotional work, but that the "Hourglass Appreciation Night" theme wasn't divulged. She said she was surprised when made aware of it.
"The last thing we would ever want to do is sexualize our models all in bikinis," Evans said. "None of this was disclosed to us whatsoever."
Dr. Keith Strudler, director of the Marist College Center for Sports Communication, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., said the promotion was representative of the marginalization of women in sports combined with a pressure to continuously produce novel ideas to fill seats.
"It's not fair to call it innocent because you should know better when you're in that role and you should do a better job, but I certainly don't think it was ill-intentioned," Strudler said.
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