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Country Legend Garth Brooks Wears 'Sanders 20' Jersey, Gets Blasted over Mistaken Identity

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All it took for some fans to remove country singer Garth Brooks from their list of favorites was one word.

The fuss began Saturday after Brooks performed in Detroit and posted a picture of himself wearing a jersey featuring the name and number of former Detroit Lions running back and NFL Hall of Famers Barry Sanders.

The back of the jersey had “Sanders” over the number “20” — a recognizable combination to football fans.

But in the politically polarized climate of 2020, the photo created waves of social media outrage, with Brooks being criticized for seeming to support Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

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Some posters only focused on the name and not the context.

“If this is for Bernie Sanders, I’m done with you,” one said. “I thought you were a true American that loves Our Country?”

“Sanders?? Don’t care about your politics. Love your music. Let’s keep politics and your entertainment separate,” one commented, while another said, “If that’s a Bernie shirt I just lost a lot of respect for you!”

The jersey drew no comments from fans at the concert because Brooks made it clear why he was wearing it to those who didn’t know.

“I’ll tell you why I’m wearing the jersey I am wearing tonight,” the country music legend said during the Ford Field concert before 70,000 fans, according to MLive.

“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.”

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Brooks was a javelin thrower on the track team at Oklahoma State in the 1980s, when Sanders was a star running back for the Cowboys.

Were you confused when you first saw that photo?

“You guys got the greatest player in NFL history, in my opinion, in this jersey. I love this man,” he said.

“And can I vouch for him firsthand from way back when he just came out of Kansas and got to Oklahoma State? He’s also one of the greatest human beings that you’ll ever get to witness and be with. He’s a good cat. It’s an honor to wear this jersey tonight,” Brooks said.



The reaction at Ford Field was much better than that online. Brooks praised the audience as they sang along with him.

“We talk about how Detroit never really gets recognized for how well Detroit knows its country music. And it doesn’t matter the age of the listener, you know all the stuff,” he said.

Brooks has never been openly political but voiced one comment about his view on politics last year while working with former President Jimmy Carter on a Habitat for Humanity project.

“You’ve got to understand that when you get to heaven, nobody cares about ‘Republican’ or ‘Democrat’ in heaven at all. ‘Welcome to heaven. This is it,’” Brooks said then, according to Yahoo.

“You don’t care who’s on the other end of that board that’s helping you carry it. You don’t care the color of their skin, their sexual preference, their religious preference. It doesn’t matter. You’re all here to build a house for someone who needs it. Usually for a young lady and her babies, or a family that needs it. So this is way, way, way beyond any political agenda at all,” he said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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