Sorry, head-in-the-sand population, but we once again can’t “stick to sports.” The events happening in America simply transcend sports right now. It would be irresponsible – shameful, even – to ignore them.
Last week, the Dallas Stars came forward opposing the Texas bathroom bill. This week, the NHL and Detroit Red Wings have done so in strong opposition of the white supremacists who gathered for a rally in Charlottesville, Va, after that group of khaki-clad Nazis and Klansmen bore shields that, shockingly, featured the Red Wings logo.
The NHL’s statement:
"We are obviously outraged by the irresponsible and improper use of our intellectual property as seen this weekend in Charlottesville, Va. This specific use is directly contrary to the value of inclusiveness that our League prioritizes and champions. We will take immediate and all necessary steps to insure the use is discontinued as promptly as possible, and will vigorously pursue other remedies, as appropriate."
The Red Wings’ statement:
“The Detroit Red Wings vehemently disagree with and are not associated in any way with the event taking place today in Charlottesville, Va. The Red Wings believe that Hockey is for Everyone and 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.
Per Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski, the logo-emblazed shields are believed to belong to a group of Michigan-based white nationalists referring to themselves as the ‘Detroit Right Wings.’
In a perfect world, it wouldn’t require seeing the Red Wings logo at these hideous events to make the team and the NHL come forward in opposition. We should all be passionately against this ugliness before our intellectual property comes into play at all. But it’s at least nice to see the league and the Wings’ collective hearts are where they should be once they are pulled into the debate: believing in inclusiveness and opposing archaic hate.
It’s encouraging that the NHL plans to take “immediate and all necessary steps” to get the Wings’ logo away from the white supremacists. This is a situation in which the league could not just tentatively comment. Swift action was needed to send the strongest message possible. We should all disassociate ourselves from hate, not to protect our own images, but to support those people the bigots want to victimize.
We can’t ignore when elements of the real world bleed into our sports. Stop for a moment and realize that these people are real-life Nazis. We have to denounce these horrible human beings, regardless of whether it’s our job to. The NHL and Red Wings have thrown the first punches representing the game. Let’s join them. Not just because we don’t want racism associated with hockey – because we don’t want it anywhere in this world.