DETROIT (WJBK) - Roughly 500 people marched on Little Caesar’s Arena in downtown Detroit Tuesday. The National Action Network led the demonstration against Kid Rock.
“We have come to today to send a message to Little Caesar’s. We have come today to send a message to Kid Rock. We will not be disrespected!” said Charles Williams II of National Action Network.
They’re still livid over his flying the Confederate flag at shows for roughly a decade, condemning Colin Kaepernick's peaceful protest against police brutality and simply for the fact the Illitches chose him to christen the new hockey arena.
“We want to make sure they understand that police brutality in America is real. Racial profiling in America is real. And taking our tax dollars to hire someone who promotes hate needs to stop,” said Williams.
Kid Rock fans met the demonstrators with jeers.
“This flag has been around for decades. The confederate flag? Yes and it has nothing to do with anti-white or whatever,” said Melissa, a Kid Rock fan.
Motorcycle riders staged a counter protest riding up the opposite side of Woodward revving their engines to drown out demonstrators. But, despite the palpable tension the demonstration was peaceful.
“This group out here, much kudos to them for maintaining their professionalism, maintaining a relationship with the police department, allowing traffic to continue and keeping their emotions under control,” said Detroit Police Dep. Chief Elvin Barren.
After the initial demonstration ended, a group of roughly 100 younger protesters unaffiliated with the National Action Network went back to the new arena - some shouting shame at concert goers and hecklers.
Police kept a strong presence outside the arena and made efforts to contain both the younger protesters and the bikers who were cordoned off a few blocks away.
A previous version of this story referred to the bikers in Detroit as a 'biker gang'. It has been updated to more accurately reflect the purpose of the bikers. FOX 2 regrets the error.