The Detroit Lions are the second Motor City pro team to take issue with the use of its logo by demonstrators in the Unite the Right rally that became violent and deadly Saturday in Charlottesville.
“We detest and disavow any use or implied use of the Detroit Lions logo or any of our marks in association with the event this past Saturday in Charlottesville,” the Lions said in a statement Tuesday night. “We value diversity as it represents the strong fabric of our team, the City of Detroit, the NFL, the game of football, our fans and our country.”
The logo in question appeared on a shield carried by one protester and resembled the Lions’ rearing silhouette. However, the logo was red, white and blue, whereas that of the NFL team’s is light blue. The shield contained the Swedish phrase “Nog Ar Nog,” which means “enough is enough.”
On Saturday, the Red Wings said they were considering legal action over the use of their logo when it appeared at the rally, which was held to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park in the city. The hockey site Russian Machine Never Breaks traced the logo to what it said was was a “Michigan-based group of Identitarians” that called itself the Detroit Right Wings.
The spokes on the wheel of the Red Wings’ logo were altered to resemble a symbol associated with the Nazi Party’s SS and the team said in a statement that it “vehemently” disagreed with and was “not associated in any way with the event taking place in Charlottesville, Va. 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 NHL agreed, saying in a statement that it was “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.”
Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman, was killed when a Dodge Challenger plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters at the white nationalist rally. James Alex Fields Jr. has been charged with murder.
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