The Detroit Red Wings said they are exploring legal options to stop white nationalists from using their logo.

“The Detroit Red Wings vehemently disagree with and are not associated in any way with the event taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia,” the team’s statement read. “The Red Wings believe that hockey is for everyone and we celebrate the great diversity of our fan base and our nation.”

On Saturday afternoon, images of the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, showed white nationalists holding signs and shields bearing the NHL team’s logo. The symbol immediately caught the attention of social media, and quickly sparked one major question: Why do racists consider the Red Wings symbolically significant? 

According to Russian Machine Never Breaks, the Detroit Red Wings is the name of a Michigan-based white nationalist group that has appropriated the logo. Though it’s unclear if its members were in attendance, the Free Press points out that the group intended to participate in this weekend’s rally, as they launched a GoFundMe page last month to cover travel costs.

The NHL has also issued a statement about the group's use of the logo, calling it “irresponsible.”

"We are offended by the improper and irresponsible use of intellectual property owned by the National Hockey League and our Clubs and plan to pursue immediate steps to stop that use," deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Free Press. "As a League, we stand for and champion inclusiveness as a value that should be embraced in sport and in society."

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