At a time when airports around the country have begun barring new Chick-fil-A restaurants at their terminals, the Cincinnati Cyclones hockey team has doubled down in support of its partnership with the company that continually forks over donations to antigay organizations. This Saturday during intermission, a group of protesters climbed aboard the Chick-fil-A Fan Zam, a Zamboni emblazoned with the fast food chain's logo that fans can pay $10 to ride around on prior to the game; the protesters unfurled signs that read, "Chick-fil-A is antigay."
Responding to the action, the Cyclones not only blasted the protesters for failing to align with the game's "family-friendly atmosphere" but threatened them with criminal trespassing if they ever return, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The hockey team also praised the anti-LGBTQ fast food chain, referring to the partnership as "wonderful."
Furthermore, the Cyclones have banned signs from the Fam Zam.
"Moving forward, we have adopted a 'no signage' policy on the Fan Zam, and we will be monitoring all riders to make sure something like this doesn't happen again," Cylcones' spokesman Everett Fitzhugh said.
Chick-fil-A has once again come under fire over tax returns revealing that the company, whose CEO, Dan Cathy, is openly antigay, has continued to donate money to anti-LGBTQ organizations in spite of pushback and boycotts.
Responding to revelations that Chick-fil-A continued to donate to anti-LGBTQ organizations after it tried to make over its image in light of boycotts over Cathy's anti-equality statements in 2012, the company asserted that the media was painting "an inaccurate narrative about our brand."
But there's no glossing over the findings that Chick-fil-A's charitable arm gave $1.8 million to three anti-LGBTQ organizations in 2017, including the Salvation Army. It also donated to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which enforces a "sexual purity" policy that bars "homosexual acts." Finally, it donated to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, which provides housing for troubled youth and "teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong" and that same-sex marriage is a "rage against Jesus Christ and his values."
While the Cyclones blamed protesters for "unacceptable messaging," Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach called out the team on Facebook for mixed messaging.
"Can't have it both ways, Cincinnati Cyclones," Seelbach wrote. "You can't pretend to be LGBT friendly by hosting a pride night, but also have anti-gay Chick-fil-A as a sponsor."