From Denis Vandal, Air Canada director of marketing and communications
Dear Commissioner Bettman:
We are contacting you today to voice our concern over last night's incident involving Max Pacioretty and Zdeno Chara at the Bell Centre in Montreal. This is following several other incidents involving career threatening and life endangering head shots in the NHL recently.
As a strong supporter and sponsor of NHL Hockey in Canada and several U.S. cities, Air Canada is very concerned with the state of hockey today. While we support countless sports, arts and community events, we are having difficultly rationalizing our sponsorship of Hockey unless the NHL takes responsibility to protect both the players and the integrity of the game. From a corporate social responsibility standpoint, it is becoming increasingly difficult to associate our brand with sports events which could lead to serious and irresponsible accidents; action must be taken by the NHL before we are encountered with a fatality.
Unless the NHL takes immediate action with serious suspensions to the players in question to curtail these life threatening injuries, Air Canada will withdraw its sponsorship of Hockey.
We are following progress on these matters very closely and look forward to your response.