Fan support for a suspended head coach is one thing, but selling T-shirts with John Tortorella’s likeness is a no-no in the eyes of the Vancouver Canucks organization.
Tortorella was suspended 15 days without pay by the NHL on Monday for venturing outside the Calgary Flames dressing room and confronting the team during the first intermission of last Saturday’s game. That same day, the hashtag #FreeTorts began trending on Twitter.
Two Canucks fans went a step further by creating a website that sold “Free Torts” T-shirts — which retailed for $20 — to show their support for the banned bench boss.
They even donated $1 from the sale of each shirt to the The John & Christine Tortorella Family Foundation.
But there was only one problem: the Canucks apparently didn’t like the use of Tortorella’s likeness on the shirt and asked the fans to stop selling them, reports Global News.
“It’s absolutely great when the community gets behind the team. It’s the kind of thing that can start traditions like the playoff towels. We love this gentleman’s passion but he was using the likeness of a member of the Canucks to generate personal profit so we unfortunately had to ask him to stop.”
Site founders Treven LePage and his friend Dan Skology pulled the plug on the shirts after having sold over 100.
— Free Torts (@realfreetorts) January 24, 2014