Today in Sexism In Sports: The Dodgers’ rookie ball affiliate, the Ogden Raptors, is holding “Hourglass Appreciation Night” on August 11 later this season. According to the post on the Raptors’ website:
The home team hosts the Billings Mustangs, but the real thoroughbreds will join Raptors broadcaster A.P. Harreld in the booth. 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?
That’s right! Stars Talent Studio of Salt Lake City will provide a different stunner each half-inning. And the Raptors will video-stream the broadcast booth – well, at least the better-looking half of it!
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!
Kate Feldman of the New York Daily News has a screenshot in case the Raptors delete that from their website.
The Raptors’ article includes an illustration of three women in string bikinis, just in case there was any confusion over the intent of the evening. And an “hourglass,” in this context, refers to the shape of a conventionally attractive woman’s body.
Baseball — really, sports in general — has had problems marketing to women as it tends to cater to them in stereotypes: pink merchandise, “Baseball 101” events (as if women can’t be experts on baseball), etc. And here, it’s simply including women as objects of desire for men.
Why not invite someone — anyone other than a cisgendered man — who works in one of the many front offices across baseball, like Kim Ng, so they can show others watching that they can work in important positions within the sport? The Raptors could reach out to Jessica Mendoza, Jennie Finch, or any other renowned softball player to join the booth. There are plenty of non-cisgendered male baseball writers who could talk intelligently about the sport. Resorting to ogling women is not just insulting but it’s also lazy and unimaginative. Do better.