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Reading Phillies Ryan Howard Garden Gnome Giveaway: Lawn Jockey Night Anybody?


water cooler          logoThe Reading Phillies have decided on giving away Ryan Howard garden gnomes to the first 2,500 fans who attend the game on August 3rd. 

On the surface this looks like another benign, whacky Minor League Baseball promotion. However, when you see what the Ryan Howard garden gnome looks like you will see why this isn't such a great idea. 

And, the folks at ESPN who voted this as the best promotion in minor league baseball are either out of touch or out of their minds, or a combination of the two.  It's insane enough that the geniuses in the Reading Phillies' marketing department conjured this idea up, but it was actually produced.  And, for it to come to fruition in the form of an actual promotion just boggles the mind.  The Ryan Howard garden gnome looks similar to a lawn jockey, which is one of the most racist depictions of African Americans in the history of the United States.  Lest you think otherwise, this is not a sick joke on the part of the Reading Phillies.  In case you haven't seen it, I'll illustrate for you below.

Let's compare the Ryan Howard garden gnome to a lawn jockey.  Exhibit A on the left is the Ryan Howard garden gnome. And, on your right is Exhibit B- a lawn jockey ornament.

ryan howard garden gnome lawn jockey








Clearly the Reading Phillies are opening up a can of worms with this giveaway and anybody in their right mind will put the kaibash to the August 3rd Ryan Howard Garden Gnome Giveaway.

If the Reading Phillies organization sanctions this type of promotion then why stop there? How about having a night when fans come to the game dressed up in black face? Or, how about a "Step and Fetch It" night? Maybe the Reading Phillies can show some racist Disney cartoons before a game while they're at it.  You know the ones from the 1930's and 1940's that Disney is ashamed were even produced.

Legally the Phillies can't do anything since Ryan Howard played for Reading, which is why the Reading Phillies don't need permission to use his image.

Hopefully better judgement prevails with this promotion.  It has disaster written all over it. If the Reading Phillies don't put a stop to it, then surely someone with the Phillies organization can "influence" Kevin Sklenarik, the team's director of operations to re-think this decision.

Otherwise, the Phillies organization as a whole will be cleaning up a PR disaster.