The San Diego Padres were on the defensive Friday after the local Filipino community was critical of the planning and execution of Filipino Heritage Night, which the team hosted on June 4.
In statement released on Friday, the Filipino community called out the franchise for “devaluing” Filipino Heritage Night, in part because the event wasn’t held in conjunction with Philippine Independence Day, which is June 12. The planning was done with a “lack of care and respect” for the Filipino community, Lauren Garces with Silk Road Productions wrote in the release.
Community members were also less than pleased with several last-minutes changes that left attendees confused as to where events were taking place. This led to scheduled performers feeling disrespected as they felt their events weren’t treated as high priorities.
“The Filipino Community wants to ensure that the Padres organization hosts all community events in a more efficient and respectful manner with sincere and authentic intentions,” the statement from Garces read. “The Padres needs to resolve these issues (especially with cultural significance) in a more professional manner so avoidable mistakes do not create a devaluement and consequence to a community culture.”
According to KUSI in San Diego, many of the venues used for the event were overbooked, which contributed to several plans being altered. It’s also noted that many of the performers who volunteered to take part were cut short or were not allowed a chance to perform. Those same volunteers had to purchase their own tickets to attend the event.
The Padres offered a response late Friday afternoon by releasing this statement to Yahoo Sports:
We were surprised to learn of the statement issued today regarding Filipino Heritage Night at Petco Park, as we had not received any complaints in the two weeks since the event on Saturday, June 4. Having heard the concerns expressed today, we have already reached out to those who planned the event to discuss their concerns.
The Padres have been proud to host Filipino Heritage Night annually since 2008, and we were especially proud this year to work closely with the Filipino community to grow the event. Interest and demand in this year’s event surpassed projections based on years past. When we realized this was the case, and that the number of T-shirts originally ordered was not sufficient, we immediately placed an order for 200 additional T-shirts to ensure every member of the group would receive one. The additional T-shirts were not available by June 4, but every person who did not take one home that night was offered the opportunity to either have a T-shirt mailed to them, or receive complimentary tickets to another Padres game to pick up their T-shirt. In fact, more than 200 members of the group have been hosted at Petco Park this week and have picked up their T-shirts.
In addition to specially-designed T-shirts, Filipino Heritage Night, like other heritage celebration nights, includes the opportunity for pre-game performances. Per the group’s preference, we were able to accommodate the performances at the Park at the Park. That necessitated the integration of multiple elements of that night’s entertainment program, including a live band, which is consistent with every Saturday night game. We have confirmed that every act affiliated with Filipino Heritage Night that was scheduled in advance and cleared in accordance with our protocol, was provided the opportunity to perform as promised. In addition, we were presented withunscheduled performers at the last minute, and added as many of them as possible, in an attempt to accommodate everyone.
The Padres have long been proud to celebrate the diversity that makes San Diego America’s Finest City.”
This is one of those situations where both parties have their story and they’re obviously going to stick to it. That doesn’t mean one side is more right or wrong than the other, but there were obviously some isues here that need to be addressed beyond these statements if this event is to serve its intended purpose moving forward.
Here’s hoping both sides can work together in that regard, and ultimately turn a negative situation into something that’s positive for all involved.
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