In this Feb. 22, 2015 file photo, Kid Rock performs before the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Michigan Department of Corrections has denied a production company’s request to film a Kid Rock music video inside an Ypsilanti women’s prison. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)
DETROIT (AP) — A representative of Kid Rock said it has been years since the musician displayed the Confederate flag while on tour — a decision that was cemented when he was honored with an award by Detroit’s NAACP chapter.
Comments from publicist Nick Stern to the Detroit Free Press (http://on.freep.com/1fKUNbS) on Wednesday came as an activist group urged General Motors to cut financial ties with Kid Rock if he displays the flag onstage.
“It’s been more than five years since he’s had that flag on tour,” Stern told the newspaper. “They’re protesting something he’s not even doing.”
The Associated Press sent a message Thursday morning seeking comment from Stern.
He said Kid Rock hadn’t featured a Confederate flag in concert for more than a year before being honored in 2011 by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People branch in Detroit. That night, Stern said, Kid Rock quietly decided he would stop using the Confederate flag onstage.
“That was the impetus,” Stern said. “Since then, he’s never flown it again.”
Detroit-based GM said this week it will continue its sponsorship of Kid Rock’s summer concert tour. Members of the National Action Network are scheduled to meet Thursday with representatives from GM’s Chevrolet brand.
The two sides have been in discussions recently over Kid Rock, who has been criticized in the past for displaying the rebel battle flag during performances. The musician, who was born Robert Ritchie and lives in suburban Detroit, is known for dabbling in a variety of musical styles, from hip-hop and hard rock to country and Southern rock.
The Confederate flag spurred protests following last month’s massacre of nine Black worshippers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The White man charged in the slayings had posed with the flag in photos that were posted online before the attack that police say was motivated by racial hatred. Lawmakers in South Carolina voted to remove the flag from outside the Statehouse, and it was taken down last week.
Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com