Last week, when the New York Rangers returned to their renovated home for the first time this season, Sean Avery was not with them. He had been sent to the AHL on October 5 after clearing waivers, and there were some fans who felt that his absence was a detriment to the club.
So instead of welcoming their team home prior to the home opener, a bunch of them jeered the team over No. 16's demotion, chanting "We Want Avery!" during the game and unfurling a big banner at the arena.
Here's a picture of that banner, via The New York Rangers Blog:
It was removed by MSG security later in the game, which is just absolutely ridiculous for just about every reason you can imagine. But the Rangers took the silencing of their fans even a step further earlier this week, brought to our attention today by SNY Rangers Blog.
During the home opener, the Rangers commissioned a company called Gigapixel FanCam to take a panoramic image of the arena. They published that image, on which fans who were at the game can tag themselves in the photo, on their official website on Monday.
And as you'll see, that Avery banner is mysteriously missing. A few screenshots of the FanCam, which you can click to enlarge:
In the close-up, you can even see where they covered up the banner with a bit of a Photoshop job. The fans seem to be unfurling the banner just as this image was being taken.
The Rangers tried to cover it up so nobody would notice, but all it takes is a quick comparison to realize this is a Photoshop job. Actually, you might be able to tell at first glance, but to the average eye it might not come off. All you have to do to see it clearly, though, it compare that second screenshot from the FanCam (the close-up) to the original image up top that shows the banner.
That Chase bank logo isn't there in real life. It's a Photoshop job, and it's pretty silly of the Rangers to be censoring their fans to this extent.