Before Kid Rock took the stage at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Tuesday night, civil rights groups gathered outside to stand firmly against the singer’s maybe campaign for U.S. Senate.
Inspired to take action after Rock delivered a profanity-laden stump speech earlier this month at another concert in his home state of Michigan, activists from the National Action Network arrived to peacefully speak out against the star’s use of a Confederate flag onstage, as well as his divisive commentary about NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem, according to MLive.com.
During Tuesday’s show, Rock addressed concertgoers from behind a podium emblazoned with a faux presidential seal, and flanked by two women clad only in oversized, white button-down shirts. Rather than a performance of his hits like “Bawitdaba,” Rock spent several minutes delivering a similarly explicit speech about everything from healthcare to the KKK, according to TIME.
Earlier this summer, Rock – an avowed Trump supporter – teased plans to run for U.S. Senate, even launching a website to promote his campaign in Michigan. Should he wind up on the ballot in November 2018, he will run against Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat who first won the seat in 2000. Resistance to the 46-year-old singer’s political aspirations is strong – even though he hasn’t formally confirmed any campaign plans.
According to the Washington Post, counter-protestors were also present outside of the arena on Tuesday, with one man spotted holding a Confederate flag while wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the controversial image.
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Rev. Charles Williams II, president of the National Action Network’s Detroit chapter, told the Associated Press ahead of Tuesday’s protest that the performer’s comments earlier in the month were “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“When you hire Kid Rock, who is known to be dog-whistling and cat-calling to white supremacist organizations and the white supremacist community, alt-right, whatever you want to call them, and you take our tax dollars to do that? That’s wrong,” he charged.
Rock is scheduled to appear in Detroit for an additional five concerts.