Zamboni time can be a very interesting time during a hockey game. Sometimes the zamboni driver sings. Sometimes the zamboni driver is in costume.
However, normally, the zamboni does not get hijacked by gay activists accusing Chick-fil-A of homophobia. Yet, that is precisely what happened in Cincinnati on Saturday night.
According to WLWT:
Several protesters carried signs that read “Chick-fil-A is Anti-Gay” while riding on the Zamboni during the first intermission.
The fans rode on what’s known as the Chick-fil-A Fan Zam, a customized Zamboni that takes fans for a spin around the ice for a $10 fee.
Officials with the Cincinnati Cyclones said the group concealed the message on a birthday sign and unfolded their actual message once they got on the ice.
The Cincinnati Cyclones released a statement about the incident:
During the first intermission a group of protestors riding the Chick-fil-A Fan Zam displayed unacceptable messaging that was hidden inside of a birthday sign. The Cincinnati Cyclones & U.S. Bank Arena do not condone this type of behavior or the messaging expressed.
These actions do not align with the family friendly atmosphere that we aim to provide. Chick-fil-A has been a wonderful partner and we are thankful for their on-going support.
The offending parties have been removed from the game and we apologize to anyone that may have been offended by these actions.
While Chick-fil-A has become a frequent target of gay activists due to CEO Dan Cathy’s opposition to gay marriage. The restaurant broke it’s long standing policy of remaining closed on Sundays in order to serve victims and emergency workers after 49 people were killed by a Muslim extremist at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Despite this, Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach accused the Cincinnati Cyclones hockey team of duplicity, for claiming to be LGBT inclusive, yet also maintaining a relationship with Chick-fil-A.
“Can’t have it both ways Cincinnati Cyclones,” Seelbach said. “You can’t pretend to be LGBT friendly by hosting a pride night, but also have anti-gay Chick-fil-A as a sponsor.”
The Cyclones have not responded to Seelbach.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn