Kid Rock released a statement Monday morning addressing the criticism he has received since being announced as the headline opener for Little Caesars Arena.
The decision to have Kid Rock as the opening act for the new arena with six consecutive shows starting Tuesday has been called out by various civil rights groups in the city of Detroit, as well as the Detroit Free Press's Stephen Henderson.
Critics have called Kid Rock's performance a "middle finger" to the city of Detroit, pointing to the fact that the city is 80 percent black but Kid Rock has trafficked in performance stunts that could be viewed as an affront to African-American culture. The singer, who hails from Romeo, began using the Confederate flag in shows in 2001. He publicly announced he was stopping the practice in 2011, after receiving an award from the NAACP. A video that came out this summer, however, showed a pregnant woman wearing a T-shirt with the flag.
Little Caesars Arena has defended hiring Kid Rock for its shows.
“Kid Rock is the perfect entertainer to open Little Caesars Arena," Tom Wilson, president, and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, the sports and entertainment organization that oversees business operations for the Detroit Red Wings said in January when the performance was announced.
Last week at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new arena, Chris Ilitch, president, and CEO of Ilitch Holdings gave a tepid response to the controversial headliner.
"While I can't control what any artist does or says, I can guide our businesses to continue bringing life-changing opportunities to people in our community. will always demand that our companies strive to do right by Detroit, our community and its people," Ilitch said.
A week prior to Ilitch's statement, it had been announced that Kid Rock wasn't just opening the stadium with six shows, but that he'd be a permanent fixture there. A Kid Rock themed restaurant was reported.
Last week, Mayor Mike Duggan weighed in on Kid Rock opening the new arena saying, "He's an entertainer. My feeling is if you don't like Kid Rock's politics or music — don't go to the concert."
Sunday evening, Kid Rock's public relations firm sent an email to reporters saying the singer would be releasing a statement on "recent controversies" on his Facebook page at 12 am EST Sept. 11, 2017. A post went up shortly before 9:30 AM.
Calling himself the "King of Detroit Love," Kid Rock berates Detroit charities who have been silent during the controversy, saying "I will focus my philanthropy efforts on other organizations besides the others I supported in the past." He also doubles down on his criticism of football player Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the national anthem. He ends his post by professing his love of black people.
You can read the artist response to his "haters" below.
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