Coal Group Logo On W.V. Arena Floor Irks Activist

CHARLESTON, W.V. (AP) - An environmentalist and critic of West Virginia's mining industry says a new "Friends of Coal" logo on the hardwood basketball floor in the Charleston Civic Center is inappropriate.

Denise Giardina is a longtime opponent of mountaintop removal mining. She says sporting events shouldn't be turned into political events.

She tells the Daily Mail ( that being forced to stare at the logo during a game is like forcing a Democrat to stare at Republican ads.

But West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney says supporting tournaments and venues is an example of industry supporting the communities where it does business.

He says he wouldn't expect environmentalists to like anything his association does.

The association also sponsors the annual WVU-Marshall football game, which is known as the Friends of Coal Bowl.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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