The choice of Kid Rock as the opening act for a new sports arena in mostly Black Detroit has injected the musician into the national debate over race and culture because of his embrace of the Confederate flag, an expletive-laced criticism of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and unabashed support for President Donald Trump.
Olympia Entertainment selected Kid Rock to open the new Little Caesars Arena with concerts next week. Kid Rock, who is white, has been lauded for his philanthropy and support of Detroit, but his recent criticism of Kaepernick has prompted one civil rights organization in Detroit to plan a protest and call for the concerts to be canceled. The request to cancel Kid Rock’s concerts came from the National Action Network’s Detroit chapter, which plans a protest next week. The group has previously criticized Kid Rock for displaying the Confederate flag at concerts.
“This is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said the Rev. Charles Williams II, president of the network’s Detroit chapter. “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.”