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Businesses Condemn Charlottesville Violence

Several companies who were drawn into the Charlottesville rally condemned the events, including Tiki brand torches, the Detroit Red Wings, GoDaddy, and Google.
Image: White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville
White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 11, 2017.Alejandro Alvarez / News2Share via Reuters

American companies whose logos or products were drawn into the violent rallies that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia have denounced and distanced themselves from the events and organizers.

One of the most arresting images that surfaced was a night-time rally where white nationalist protesters descended on the statue of General Robert E. Lee whose plans for removal sparked the protests, bearing tiki torches and evoking raw memories of KKK cross-burnings.

The maker of tiki torches took to social media to condemn the events, deny any connection, and highlight that its "products are designed to enhance backyard gatherings and to help family and friends connect with each other at home in their yard."

They weren't the only brand that was co-opted during the rally. A group of "identitarians" from Detroit were spotted sporting modified Detroit Red Wings on their shirts and riot shields. The logo has a wing extending to the right, thought to represent the "right wing."

The hockey team posted a strong condemnation of the unauthorized use of their logo.

"The Detroit Red Wings vehemently disagree with and are not associated in any way with the event taking place today in Charlottesville," the team said in a statement. "The Red Wings believe that Hockey is for Everyone and we celebrate the great diversity of our fan base and our nation."

The Detroit Red Wings said they were also exploring legal action to take to stop the misuse of their logo.

The NHL echoed those sentiments, saying "This specific use is directly contrary to the value of inclusiveness that our League prioritizes and champions."

Two internet companies so far also took action.

The GoDaddy domain hosting company said it would be terminating the right wing nationalist website The Daily Stormer for violating its terms of service after it published a hateful article about the Charlottesville protester who died after a vehicle plowed into a group of counter-protesters.

"In instances where a site goes beyond the mere exercise of these freedoms, and crosses over to promoting, encouraging, or otherwise engaging in violence against any person, we will take action. In our determination, especially given the tragic events in Charlottesville, crossed the line and encouraged and promoted violence," GoDaddy's digital crimes unit director Ben Butler told NBC News in an email.

The nationalist site later announced it had switched providers to Google. But this afternoon Google announced it was canceling the website's registration, leaving it to find another host if it wants to stay online.

Several stores in downtown Charlottesville closed their doors over the weekend to show their support for counterprotestors.

Earlier, room rental site Airbnb banned the accounts of nationalist users who were using the platform to book reservations to attend the rally.