Romeo, MI native Robert Ritchie aka Kid Rock provided halftime entertainment during the Lions’ annual Thanksgiving matinee yesterday, his rendition of “Detroit, Michigan” managing to namecheck Bob Seger, Marvin Gaye, Eminem, Rosa Parks and George Clinton in a song unlikely to remind anyone of their musical or cultural achievements.
A week prior to Ritchie’s nationally televised appearance, he was the subject of a rather exhaustive profile penned by the New Yorker’s Kelefa Sanneh (“Badass American : No One Has More Fun Than Kid Rock)”, that touched on subjects including but not limited to the subject’s musical roots (“Ritchie was both impressed and peeved when he saw the Beastie Boys for the first time at Joe Louis Arena — he had convinced himself he was the only white person who knew how to rap”), the state of the industry (“he thinks Radiohead’s music is ‘fuckin’ garbage’ but marvels at the loyalty and tolerance of their fan base”) and most tellingly, his public endorsement of the failed Romney/Ryan GOP presidential ticket (“I think they go too far with some of that pro-life stuff. I just want some nerds watching my money.”) For all of the article’s attempts to portray Ritchie as an inclusive, if dopey crowd-pleaser (“in his view, there’s no reason that a self-proclaimed redneck who waves the Confederate flag shouldn’t embrace his local N.A.A.C.P. branch”), there’s one passage that stand in stark contrast.
“I don’t give a fuck if gay people get married, Ritchie says. (Although he also says, not entirely in jest, “I don’t love anybody who acts like a fuckin’ faggot.”)
Presumably, space limitations prevented Sanneh from asking Kid Rock just what exactly constitutes acting like a fucking faggot. But given the remark appeared in a national publication well in advance of the Thanksgiving Day appearance, it’s worth asking why such a statement escaped the notice of the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick or Sirius/XM yackster Justin Termine, each of whom have taken issue with Jay-Z’s ultra-prominent role in connection with the Brooklyn Nets. Granted, Kid Rock doesn’t own a piece of the Lions (even a tiny share), but if there’s any evidence Mushnick, Termine, the NFL or Fox asked the
douchebag icon rap-rock-country crossover artist to explain or apologize for his comments, I’ve yet to see it.
Perhaps Phil Mushnick isn’t a regular reader of The New Yorker. Maybe Justin Termine hasn’t learned how to read. I mean, I’d like to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. But I think it is very fair to presume that if for instance, Jay-Z told an interviewer, “I don’t love anybody who acts like a fuckin’ faggot” in 2012, he’d be taking some serious heat, and quite possibly the NBA or the Nets would be keen to disassociate themselves from him. It seems there’s no such embarrassment for the NFL or the Detroit Lions. Or any obligation on the part of Jay-Z’s most fervent critics to hold a Romney endorser who parties with Jim Schwartz up to similar scrutiny.