DETROIT (WWJ) — The Detroit Red Wings appeared to do the right thing on Saturday when they announced that they condemn the use of their logo during a White Nationalists Rally in Charlottesville, Va. However, a local official isn’t buying the Red Wings’ statement.
The team said in a statement Saturday it “vehemently” disagrees with the rally and is in no way associated with it. The logo of the NHL club could be seen on items held by people at the rally, including a Michigan-based white nationalist group called the Detroit Right Wings. But Sam Riddle, political director of the Michigan National Action Network, says the Red Wings are hypocritical for objecting to white supremacists using their logo in Charlottesville.
He argues that the Red Wings are hypocritical because they’re allowing Kid Rock — who has been known to use the Confederate Flag during his shows — to open Little Caesars Arena next month.
“The Detroit Red Wings are in an acute state of denial about why these white supremacists in Charlottesville are using the Red Wings’ symbol,” Riddle said. “The Detroit Red Wings have enabled one of the nation’s chief purveyors of hate symbols, Kid Rock, when they let Kid Rock open for them and this new arena in Detroit.”
Kid Rock is scheduled to hold six shows in September at the brand new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Kid Rock, who is also potentially running for U.S. Senator, has previously had the Confederate Flag part of his shows. General Motors dropped its partnership with Kid Rock last year because of his use of the Confederate Flag, however, his representatives say he hasn’t used it on tour in years.
Regardless, Riddle said Kid Rock’s history still outweighs his more recent behavior.
“Kid Rock’s history of waving that flag as such that he should not be opening up for the Red Wings’ new arena in America’s blackest and poorest city, Detroit,” Riddle said. “His history of glorifying the symbol of hate, the Confederate Flag, outweighs his new pattern of behavior if it does in fact exist.”
The violent protests and rallies in Charlottesville were centered around the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a city park. Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler planned what he called a “pro-white” rally to protest the removal of the statue with counter-protesters fighting back.
The White Nationalist Rally is currently responsible for three deaths, and several others being injured.