Two of Detroit’s own are ensnared in controversy today. In an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, mulleted musician Kid Rock told those protesting the Confederate Battle Flag to “kiss my ass.” Now,Chevrolet, which is sponsoring Rock’s summer concert tour, is under fire for its support.
“We are committed to our sponsorship of Kid Rock’s summer tour and are confident that he will provide his fans, many of whom are proud Chevrolet owners, with a spectacular concert experience that celebrates American Freedom,” a Chevy spokesperson told The Detroit Free Press last week. The company also uses the Kid Rock anthem Born Free in its pickup truck advertising.
The company’s position is not sitting well with the Detroit chapter of the National Action Network, though, which has called on GM to pull its support for the embattled artist.
“It’s obvious to us that, by supporting [Rock], while he’s making inflammatory statements, General Motors becomes an accomplice if they allow him their support to stand behind his statements,” the Rev. Charles Williams II, NAN’s Detroit chapter director, told the Freep.
As controversial as Rock’s comments are, it’s not entirely clear when the last time he actually waved that flag was. The Freep reports that several concertgoers don’t recall seeing the flag during his most recent tour, or even over the last few years of concerts. In a 2002 interview with the paper, Rock, real name Robert Ritchie, said that the flag had been used as a symbol of southern rock and a rebel spirit, saying: “It’s not about hatred or being a racist. I like Southern rock music, and a lot of people died under that flag for beliefs they had, right or wrong. But it stands for rebel, and my love of Southern rock.”