Anti-Chick-fil-A demonstrators thought they were being clever when they stole a Zamboni and crashed a hockey game, but now it’s gone horribly wrong.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, a group of seven protesters showed up at a Cincinnati Cyclones game on Saturday at the U.S. Bank Arena.
They apparently paid their way onto a Zamboni that was sponsored by Chick-fil-A and was wrapped in the chicken sandwich chain’s logo and iconic cow spots. The protesters hid their signs inside a birthday sign, then revealed them as the Zamboni rode around the arena, Fox News reported.
The signs read “Chick-fil-A is ANTI-GAY.”
The protesters were removed and banned from future Cyclones games. The team responded to the incident on Twitter, calling their protest “unacceptable.”
Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach defended the protesters, saying, “Can’t have it both ways, Cincinnati Cyclones. You can’t pretend to be LGBT friendly by hosting a pride night, but also have anti-gay Chick-fil-A as a sponsor.”
Chick-fil-A has been a target of constant protests after its evangelical Christian CEO came out in support of traditional marriage. The whole chain has been accused of being anti-LGBT even though they have no policies in place that discriminate against individuals who identify as LGBT.
“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,” Chick-fil-A told Fox News. “Our intent is to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
The protests don’t seem to be hurting Chick-fil-A one bit. The chain is expected to become the third-largest fast-food restaurant in number of sales by 2020 despite being closed on Sundays and having far fewer locations than its top sales competitors, McDonald’s and Starbucks, Fox News reported earlier this year.
And the protest at the U.S. Bank Arena backfired, too, drawing ridicule on social media and driving people to crave a delicious chicken sandwich from the restaurant chain.
Despite earlier reporting by some news outlets, the Cincinnati Cyclones are not an NHL team. They are an ECHL team affiliated with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres and AHL’s Rochester Americans. The Cyclones fell to Kalamazoo 2-0 Saturday night.