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Globe Editorial

Bad taste: In the lap of lacrosse

Scorch, the Blazers’ mascot Scorch, the Blazers’ mascot (Anitra Rakel Photography)
January 19, 2011

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In these days of soaring ticket prices for marquee Boston teams, lesser-known sports franchises promote themselves as venues for family entertainment. That has been part of the marketing scheme for the Boston Blazers, a professional indoor lacrosse team that plays at the TD Garden and offers clinics and birthday parties for kids. So fans were right to be appalled at the halftime show last Saturday, when the team’s oversized mascot, “Scorch,’’ got a series of lap dances from suggestively dressed women.

Side entertainment is part of the spectacle of a live sporting event, and sexualized content isn’t unheard of; think of the barely-clad, gyrating Celtics dancers. But the lap dances clearly crossed a line. And while the resulting news coverage has raised the team’s profile, it might also do lasting damage to its image.

The Blazers’ president and general manager, Doug Reffue, has posted an apology prominently on the team’s website. Now, he’s trying to make amends by giving away 2,000 free tickets to this Saturday’s game. It’s a nice gesture, but the team also needs to clean up its act. If the Blazers want to be the local equivalent of professional wrestling, that’s their right. But they should give fair warning to people considering bringing their kids.