Red Wings threaten to sue white nationalists for using team logo in Charlottesville

White nationalists carried shields emblazoned with the Red Wings logo.

Just hours after a video showed white nationalists marching with shields emblazoned with the Red Wings logo in Virginia on Saturday morning, the Detroit hockey team said it’s “exploring every possible legal action” for “the misuse of our logo in this disturbing demonstration.” 

The video, first posted on Twitter at 9:38 a.m. by an NBC News producer, shows a group of white nationalists chanting “blood and soil” as they headed to a protest over a plan to remove a statue of a Confederate general in Charlottesville. About two hours later, the governor declared a state of emergency after white nationalists and neo-Nazis, some carrying guns and others wearing helmets, clashed with counter-protesters.

“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 franchise said in a statement shortly before noon. “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.”

The white nationalist group reportedly calls itself the “Detroit Red Wings” – with a motto “Rust Reforged” – and is opposed to immigration.

On Friday afternoon, white nationalists marched in Charlottesville with torches and chanted, “White lives matter” and “You will not replace us.” They encircled a group of counter-protesters, prompting fights to break out. 

The demonstration is being billed as “United the Right.”

But let’s call it what it was – a white race riot.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.