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Kid Rock To Open Detroit Arena Amid Protest, Senate Talk

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Kid Rock may have more to say about his political future while performing in the opening concert at Detroit's new sports arena.

The musician opens his six-night run at Little Caesars Arena Tuesday night after two months of teasing a potential Republican run for U.S. Senate in Michigan. His publicist has said he will give fans exclusive insight Tuesday on his political views.

The National Action Network, led by political activists led by Sam Riddle, is planning a protest outside of the arena because of Kid Rock's past display of the Confederate flag during performances, along with his criticism of black former NFL player Colin Kaepernick for refusing to stand during the national anthem.

Riddle said things could get ugly during the protest.

"Our effort will be totally nonviolent," Riddle told WWJ's Vickie Thomas. "The issue is not what the National Action Network will do, but can law enforcement keep these racists, neo-Nazis and white supremacists in check. But I'll tell you one thing, Detroit is not Charlottsville."

Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, issued a response to the protest via social media.

"They are trying to use the old confederate flag BS, etc. to stir the pot, when we all know none of this would be going on if I were not thinking of running for office. Pretty funny how scared I have them all and their only agenda is to try and label people / me racist who do not agree or cower to them!! No one had a word to say when we sold out the 6 shows at LCA back in January! My track record in Detroit and Michigan speaks for itself, and I would dare anyone talking trash to put theirs up against mine. I am also a homeowner and taxpayer in the city of Detroit, so suck on that too!

"I am the bonified (sic) KING OF DETROIT LOVE," he continued, "and it makes me smile down deep that you haters know that! Your jealousy is merely a reflection of disgust for your own failures and lack of positive ideas for our city."

He added, "P.P.P.P.P.S. I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE!!" [Read the complete message here].

Ritchie has been encouraged to run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican (even launching a Kid Rock for Senate website and a line of products promoting the slogan), but says — at least at this point — he is not a candidate.

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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