A group of protesters took to the ice at a Cincinnati Cyclones hockey game on Saturday to slam Chick-fil-A over what they believed to be the company’s “anti-gay” views.
During the minor league team’s playoff game against the Kalamazoo Wings, the protesters unfurled signs reading “Chick-fil-A is anti-gay” while riding a Chick-fil-A-sponsored Zamboni following the game’s first period.
A team spokesperson said the group had boarded the “Fan Zam” Zamboni with their signs hidden beneath a decoy birthday sign. Seven protesters were later banned from attending future Cyclones games at Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena, and signs will no longer be allowed on the Zamboni, a team spokesperson confirmed to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
The incident marks the latest in a string of backlash against the fast-food chain, following its rejection from the concession area at both the San Antonio and Buffalo airports, as well as protests ahead of a location’s opening at the San Jose International Airport. In each case, local politicians within the city council had voiced concerns over the restaurants’ openings due to perceived anti-LGBTQ behavior on the part of Chick-fil-A, specifically its foundation’s charitable donations to organizations that have come under scrutiny regarding their stance on LGBTQ issues.
Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach also weighed in on Saturday’s events, seemingly taking the Cyclones to task for what he suggested to be hypocritical behavior.
“Can’t have it both ways Cincinnati Cyclones,” Seelbach wrote on social media. “You can’t pretend to be LGBT friendly by hosting a pride night, but also have anti-gay Chick-fil-A as a sponsor.”
On Saturday, the Cyclones apologized to anyone offended by the protesters’ actions.
A representative for Chick-fil-A was not immediately available to respond to news of Saturday’s protest. However, the chain has previously defended its foundation’s charitable donations following news of its rejection from the San Antonio airport.
“We have a fundamental code of conduct at Chick-fil-A: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Chick-fil-A wrote, in part, in a statement obtained by Fox News.
“The 140,000 people who serve customers in our restaurants on a daily basis represent and embrace all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity,” they continued. “Our intent is to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”