CEO Brad Alberts says Stars have lost season-ticket holders over the team’s support of Black Lives Matter

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 Stars did not play Game 4 of their second-round series against Colorado on Friday night because the NHL — at the direction of its players — postponed playoff games previously scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Game 4 has been rescheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday.

“Black and Brown communities continue to face real, painful experiences,” the league said in a statement Thursday announcing the postponements. “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 postponements followed many in other sports leagues, beginning with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, who did not play their playoff game Wednesday against Orlando following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., 40 miles south of Milwaukee.

Games in MLB, MLS and the WNBA were also postponed Wednesday night.

The Stars played Colorado on Wednesday before NHL players decided Thursday not to play games for two days. Dallas leads the series, 2-1.

On Thursday afternoon, the NHL held a news conference in Edmonton with representatives of all four Western Conference teams: Dallas, Colorado, Vegas and Vancouver. Jason Dickinson spoke for the Stars, and more than 20 of his teammates were visible standing behind him in support.

Dickinson and Tyler Seguin knelt for both the American and Canadian national anthems — alongside Vegas’ Ryan Reaves and Robin Lehner — on Aug. 3 in support of Black Lives Matter. The group became the first in the NHL to kneel in uniform before a game, while Dickinson, Seguin and Lehner were the first white players to kneel.

“We were able to start a good conversation among our team stemming from that moment,” Dickinson said Thursday. “That’s exactly what we wanted. We wanted to get the conversation going, not only amongst ourselves, but amongst the country and the world.”

Seguin has been one of the most high-profile voices in hockey to support Black Lives Matter, having attended a protest in Dallas following the killing of George Floyd and stated his intention for multiple initiatives dealing with equality.

None of the Western Conference teams held media availability Friday. The Stars were one of two remaining teams (the other was Colorado) that did not release a statement following the postponement of the games.

“We’re all against the social injustice and racial discrimination that’s going on around the world,” Stars interim coach Rick Bowness said Thursday. “If our players think that this is the best way that they can support that, then they have our full support and we are proud of the stance that they have taken.”

Voting set for AAC: The Mavericks announced Friday that American Airlines Center would be the largest polling place in Dallas County for Election Day on Nov. 3. The Stars also play at AAC but were not involved in the announcement of the initiative.

“We are very supportive of the AAC being turned into a voting establishment and our people intend on volunteering if necessary on voting day,” Alberts said. “The AAC executives who work for us have been involved for some time on this.”

Find more Stars stories from The Dallas Morning News here.

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