The owner of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League said his team has lost season ticket holders because of its support for Black Lives Matter, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The Stars did not play their scheduled Friday night playoff game against the Colorado Avalanche, instead moving it to Sunday in participation with the protests occurring across professional sports over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Stars have lost customers over their support of Black Lives Matter and protests over racial inequality, president and CEO Brad Alberts said Friday afternoon.
"But we/I stand by our organization's commitment and support our players 100% to express their views," Alberts said.
When asked which customers the team has lost, Alberts said season-ticket holders, and that it was a mix of individual and company accounts. He did not disclose specific names. Alberts said no advertisers have pulled funding.
The NHL supported postponing games to protest the Blake shooting and issued a statement that also mentioned the police killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and George Floyd in Minneapolis.
"Black and Brown communities continue to face real, painful experiences," a Thursday NHL statement said. "The NHL and NHLPA recognize that much work remains to be done before we can play an appropriate role in a discussion centered on diversity, inclusion and social justice. We understand that the tragedies involving Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others require us to recognize this moment. We pledge to work to use our sport to influence positive change in society."
The postponement of professional sports began last week when the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks surprised everyone by refusing to take the court at the last minute before a Wednesday playoff game against the Orlando Magic. Despite being blindsided by the protest, all the other NBA teams postponed their games as well.
The NHL was criticized for taking a little more time to join in with the stoppage of games, although the league didn't play any games Thursday or Friday. Friday, one player refused to answer any questions about hockey, instead choosing to focus on social justice issues.
"I think today, for the most part, especially yesterday and today, we want to make sure we keep the attention and conversations around the issue," Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn said. "I think that's where our heads are at right now."