SBD/July 10, 2013/Franchises

American Indian Group Pulls Out Of Mets Event After Team Alters Festivities

The N.Y.-based American Indian Community House on Monday pulled out of the Mets’ Native American Heritage Day, citing frustration with the team for “thwarting months of planning," according to Scott Cacciola of the N.Y. TIMES. The Mets in March approached the AICH about helping with the event and began to plan "pregame festivities that would include traditional dancing and singing" outside Citi Field. It was scheduled for July 25, when the Mets host the Braves. But the team recently became concerned “such activities might be interpreted by the Braves organization as a form of protest over its nickname.” The Mets then “drastically reduced the day's activities: no singing, no dancing." AICH Deputy Dir Kevin Tarrant said that his group "originally hoped to hold the festivities in early June so that the game would coincide with an area powwow, a traditional American Indian gathering." But the Mets were "on a road trip that week.” Cacciola reports the AICH "agreed to pay a $2,000 deposit to cover roughly 15 percent of the cost for a block of 500 tickets, which the group would then help sell." The AICH in exchange would be "free to stage pregame festivities outside Citi Field." The Mets agreed to "print 500 T-shirts (proposed design: the team logo adorned by feathers) and to broadcast two public service announcements for the group on the stadium's video boards." The AICH began to promote the game in “early April," but the Mets on July 1 told the group there would be “no public-service announcements of any kind, and no pregame festivities outside the stadium." A Mets official in an e-mail wrote that the Braves "had nothing to do with the decision." The Mets host "multicultural events throughout the season as a form of community outreach (N.Y. TIMES, 7/10).
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