The Detroit Red Wings said they “vehemently disagree” with the use of their logo by far-right extremists at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent Saturday and led to at least three deaths.
At least one group was seen carrying placards with the Red Wings logo, drawing the response from the NHL team.
“The Detroit Red Wings vehemently disagree with and are not associated in any way with the event taking place today in Charlottesville, Va.,” the team said in a statement. “The Red Wings believe that Hockey is for Everyone and we celebrate the great diversity of our fan base and our nation. We are exploring every possible legal action as it pertains to the misuse of our logo in this disturbing demonstration.”
There is a Michigan-based white nationalist group called the Detroit Right Wings that uses a logo nearly identical to that of the Red Wings. It is not yet evident whether that group was in attendance in Charlottesville.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly decried the “irresponsible and improper use” of the logo.
“This specific use is particularly offensive because it runs counter to the inclusiveness that our league values and champions,” Daly said in an email to The Associated Press. “We will take immediate and all necessary steps to [ensure] the use is discontinued as promptly as possible, and will vigorously pursue other remedies, as appropriate.”
University of Virginia Medical Center spokeswoman Angela Taylor confirmed to The Associated Press that?one person died and 19 were injured after a car plowed into a group of protesters.?Officials also linked the deaths of two people aboard a crashed helicopter to the clashes.
Earlier Saturday, rally supporters and counterprotesters screamed, chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other.
A right-wing blogger said he planned the “pro-white” rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a city park. Charlottesville has declared a local emergency because of the conflicts between the two groups.
There were also fights Friday night, when hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches.
The University of Virginia announced Saturday that all scheduled events — including a men’s soccer exhibition and a football team meet-and-greet — had been canceled because of public safety concerns.
The Associated Press contributed…