The Detroit Red Wings have issued a statement saying the NHL franchise was “not associated” in any way with white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va. after several were seen carrying shields bearing the club’s logo.
Images appeared on Twitter on Saturday of people carrying shields bearing the Red Wing motif as they were on their way to the Unite the Right rally, which was scheduled to begin at noon.
The Red Wings were quick to respond with a statement, saying the team is “exploring legal action.”
“The Detroit Red Wings vehemently disagree with and are not associated in any way with the event taking place in Charlottesville, Va.,” the team said. “The Red Wings believe that hockey is for everyone and we celebrate the great diversity of our fan base and our nation.”
An estimated 2,000 to 6,000 people were to attend the rally to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a public park on Saturday.
Among the protesters were a group that refers to themselves as the “Detroit Right Wings,” the hockey website Russian Machine Never Breaks reported. The group is said to be based out of Michigan.
On their Youtube channel, the group said that they would be attending the Unite The Right rally.
The protest did not take place after the situation turned violent. Police began to arrest the supremacists on “unlawful assembly” charges.
The state’s governor, Terry McAuliffe, declared “a state of emergency to aid state response to violence at Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville.”