Orem Owlz broadcaster Joey Zanaboni said he has resigned as the team's broadcasting voice and director of media and communications following a promotion that sparked national outrage on Friday.
Zanaboni issued a statement on Twitter Saturday morning, confirming he quit his position with the team. He started as the team’s broadcasting voice on Thursday after moving to Utah earlier this month. He noted that he quit at around 5 p.m. Friday night, hours before the Owlz took the field against the Ogden Raptors.
"I am deeply disturbed by this situation," he said in the statement. "It has been very taxing on me emotionally. My dream has been to call baseball as part of an MLB franchise, and I am grateful that I was part of the Angels organization — even if my time in the system was extremely limited."
"Caucasian Heritage Night" was among the 38 promotions the Owlz had planned for the 2015 season. The team announced it had canceled the event, planned for Aug. 10, Friday afternoon, after it sparked online outrage. The story has since been picked up by outlets across the country.
"We understand, in light of recent tragic events, that our intentions have been misconstrued. For that, we sincerely apologize," the team said in a statement Friday. "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."
Zanaboni quit about an hour after the team's statement was released. Within his personal statement, he added that he questioned the promotion before it went viral.
"After learning of the promotion during my first week, I raised serious concerns about it with multiple members of the front office, both verbally and via email," Zanaboni said. "I registered my disagreement with carrying out such a promotion. I also warned that this event — no matter the intention of it — would cause public backlash.
"My concerns were not taken seriously, and my advice went unheeded."
The Owlz, a Pioneer League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, begin their home slate Saturday night against Ogden.