After Grand Rapids show, civil rights group wants Kid Rock concerts cancelled

Sep 7, 2017

After he gave an impassioned speech during his concert Wednesday evening at Van Andel arena, Kid Rock is facing some political backlash. Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, stopped three songs into his concert in Grand Rapids to give a speech condemning the KKK, bigots, and anyone who kneels during the national anthem. 

A civil rights organization is now demanding the cancellation of concerts by Kid Rock at a new sports arena in Detroit, saying his criticism of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was a "dog whistle" to white supremacist groups. National Action Network Detroit chapter president Charles Williams said Wednesday that his group will protest the concerts that start Tuesday at Little Caesars Arena.

Kaepernick, who is black, spurred controversy in 2016 when as a member of the San Francisco 49ers he knelt during the national anthem. Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, used an expletive about Kaepernick during a concert last month. Ilitch Holdings President Christopher Ilitch says he can't control "what any artist does or says."

Ilitch Holdings owns the company that operates the arena. Kid Rock's publicist, Kirt Webster, didn't immediately reply to messages seeking comment. Kid Rock has hinted he will run for United States Senator in the state of Michigan.