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In lap-dance apology, Boston Blazers president dodges responsibility

Posted by Rob Anderson  January 19, 2011 02:12 PM

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scorch.JPGToday the Globe's editorial board joins the chorus criticizing the Boston Blazers, the city's professional indoor lacrosse team that featured a raunchy woman-on-mascot lap-dance routine at its halftime show last weekend. Fans "were right to be appalled," the board argues, even though sexualized content is the norm at many sporting events. "[L]ap dances clearly crossed a line."

The board is right, of course, but it could have taken its criticism of the team one step further. The editorial notes that Doug Reffue, the Blazers’ president and general manager has posted an apology on the team’s website and is offering 2,000 free tickets to this Saturday’s game. The board calls it a "nice gesture," but it's worth examining what Reffue actually said in his apology:

The Boston Blazers half time act for Saturday’s game was clearly not executed according to plan. We are extremely disappointed with elements of the halftime show.

We had intended to provide an entertaining and fun halftime environment for our fans and that is not what transpired. The Boston Blazers organization values our fans and have taken their feedback very seriously.

If we are to believe Reffue, the lap dance routine was unplanned, an unexpected mistake. Maybe some renegade cheerleader thought it up at the last minute and sprung it on an unsuspecting Scorch, the mascot? But watch the video of the incident. Unless there happened to be a chair in the middle of the field, Scorch happened to sit down on it, and women spontaneously lined up to provide him a personal dance, this was not a sneak attack. Although it's not clear whose plan it was, the video suggests that the routine was obviously thought out beforehand.

It's good Reffue apologized for the incident. But he'd have more credibility if he had actually taken responsibility for it instead of blaming it on a case of the mysterious lap dance.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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