Garth Brooks wore a jersey celebrating Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders at a February 22 show at Ford Field in Motor City.
According to both Fox News and The Blaze, the jersey led to confusion with many thinking that Brooks was honoring the Democratic presidential frontrunner, Senator Bernie Sanders. Brooks posted a photo showing the jersey on the night of the concert, but it wasn’t until February 27 when panic among conservatives set in:
During the Concert, Brooks Said That He Was ‘Honored’ to Wear Barry Sanders’ Jersey
During the concert, Brooks told the 70,000 strong crowd in Detroit, “I’ll tell you why I’m wearing the jersey I am wearing tonight. I was lucky enough to be an athlete and to wear the same uniform as this guy wore in college. I was lucky to go to school with him. You guys got the greatest player in NFL history in my opinion in this jersey. I love this man. Can I just tell ya, you guys got the greatest player in NFL history in my opinion.”
Brooks added that it was an “honor” to wear Sanders’ jersey, Michigan Live reports. The Michigan Live report adds that during the show, fans could regularly be heard chanting, “Barry! Barry! Barry!” A review of the show in the Detroit Free Press described Brooks as a “a hard-working, sweat-soaked dynamo, scampering across the stage and playing to all corners of the stadium.” That review also called Brooks “a master strategist in the craft of audience connection — a performer who has scrutinized, analyzed and zeroed in on what clicks.”
Sanders spent his entire NFL career with the lions while rushing for the fourth-most yards in NFL history. Sanders retired in 1998. His number was 20, which likely contributed to the confusion. Many promote Bernie Sanders using the number 20. Both Sanders and Brooks are graduates of Oklahoma State University.
Brooks Had Said He Would Play Donald Trump’s Inauguration in 2017; But Then Wound Up Not Doing It
Brooks’ politics have always been in flux. In November 2014 feature, The New Yorker’s Ian Crouch referred to Brooks as “Country music’s square, liberal dad.” In December 2016, Brooks was quoted as saying that he would perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration if asked. Brooks said at the time, “It’s always an honor to serve. It’s always about serving. It’s what you do.” Brooks did not end up performing. In a January 2017 Facebook question and answer session, Brooks said that he couldn’t perform due to his touring schedule and referred to it as “karma.”
Brooks Is a Huge Admirer of Former President Jimmy Carter
In an October 2019 interview with Yahoo, Brooks spoke of his admiration for former Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Brooks said of Carter, “He’s just one of those guys, and Ms. Rosalynn’s the same way. They’re just those people that you just have to be around to actually believe it.” Brooks also said that when he has been on Habitat for Humanity job sites, Carter, 95, constantly outworked the country legend.
During the same interview, Brooks said, “You’ve got to understand that when you get to heaven, nobody cares about ‘Republican’ or ‘Democrat’ in heaven at all.”
Brooks Said in 2011 That He Loved President Barack Obama ‘to Death’
Brooks told CNS in March 2011 that he “loved” President Barack Obama “to death.” Brooks added, “I just wish him well because it’s got to be hell in that office.”
Despite that, in a 2012 interview with Parade Magazine, Obama’s 2012 contender, Senator Mitt Romney, cited Garth Brooks, along with Toby Keith and Aerosmith, among his favorite music acts.