Garth Brooks showed Detroit love last weekend when he stopped by Ford Field and performed a high-energy concert in front of 70,000-plus.
For the show, Brooks wore a Barry Sanders No. 20 jersey, in tribute to the legendary Detroit Lions running back and fellow Oklahoma State University alum.
But Barry Sanders played a generation ago. And this happens to be an election season.
And there happens to be a man named Bernie Sanders among the Democratic candidates for president. And it also happens to be 2020.
So you can imagine the sort of confusion that took place when Brooks posted a photo on his official Instagram account of himself, back turned toward the camera, with “Sanders” and “20” on the back of his jersey.
While just about everybody in Michigan knows what the “Sanders 20” jersey represents, not everyone outside the state knows about or remembers Sanders’ greatness on the football field.
That led to comments like these on Brooks’ Instagram post:
• “Love you, hate the shirt. Trump2020”
• “Weird. That a millionaire would like a socialist. Hey Garth are you going to distribute your millions?”
• “Sanders? Really? So out of touch!”
• “YESSSSSSSSSS, SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT, YOU THE BEST GARTH.”
• “Sanders?? Don’t care about your politics. Love your music. Let’s keep politics and your entertainment separate.”
• “What are saying? Your a Communist or a Socialist. Either way your a loser. ❄️ Just threw out your cd 💿”
• “I had no idea you were a big freaking liberal socialist! I’ve listened to your songs for the last time!”
Yes, these comments are real. A public Facebook post on the confusion from two days ago has gone viral, with more than 11,000 shares as of Friday morning.
Fortunately, other commenters were quick to jump in and clear the air on Brooks’ post. Some even had fun with the drama taking place:
• “SANDERS? FOR REAL? How much did KFC pay you to wear this? Keep fast food out of your music. KFC wants chicken for all. Show me a country that has succeeded with a chicken for all policy. #popeyes2020”
Barry Sanders later responded on Twitter.
For what it’s worth, Brooks has worn jerseys during stadium concerts before; he wore the No. 11 of Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald when he performed in Glendale, Ariz., last year.
For those who aren’t familiar with Barry Sanders’ work on the football field, use this video to catch up.