Luke Bryan is trying to quiet down the backlash he’s been receiving after inviting Ron DeSantis on stage during a Florida concert over the weekend.
This all went down on Friday night when the American Idol judge was performing in the lead-up to the college football game between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia set for Saturday in Jacksonville. During Luke’s show, he invited DeSantis, the governor of Florida, to join him in front of concertgoers as part of a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Ian. Weeks after the storm, residents of some areas of the state are still suffering from the powerful weather front’s effects, and Luke wanted to raise some cash to help them out. All good, right?
That wasn’t the only thing that went down on stage, though. While the 46-year-old country crooner may have been focused on hurricane relief, the 44-year-old governor is currently running a tight re-election campaign against Democrat challenger Charlie Crist. And according to reports from the show, when DeSantis took the stage with Bryan, he tossed out campaign hats and tried to drum up support for his re-election.
After the appearance in Jacksonville, DeSantis even referenced the Georgia native’s 2013 hit Crash My Party in a follow-up message posted to Twitter:
But in the days since, Twitter users have blown up over the apparent political stance implied by Luke when he invited the governor up! DeSantis has drawn the ire of many after recently signing several high-profile bills inhibiting discussion of sexual orientation, transgender issues, and race in classrooms across the Sunshine State. So the governor’s presence was NOT welcome for many fans.
On Sunday morning, the superstar musician went back on Twitter to address the backlash. Calling DeSantis a “polarizing” figure, Bryan wrote:
“I typically don’t respond to stuff when I’m getting run down on a social platform but here’s the deal. I understand Governor Desantis is a very polarizing figure. But I grew up in a country where if a governor ask you if they can come and raise awareness to help victims of a natural disaster you help.”
The Country On singer continued:
“I’ve generally stayed out of politics throughout my career. I knew people would chatter about this but for me the more important piece was If I am going to come back there a few weeks after a large portion of people have been affected by a natural disaster in a state where people have been good to me this felt right. Raise awareness, have a little fun between the GA and FL college fans before the game and do what I love on stage.”
And finally, the American Idol judge wrapped his commentary with this conclusion referencing UGA’s Saturday night win and doubling down on his hurricane relief work:
“This is all I am saying about this. I’ll be outdoors with my boys. Enjoy your Sunday. Love y’all #GoDawgs Text: disaster to 20222 to support.”
Here is the full tweet:
Over the 24 hours since that tweet was posted, followers have had some seriously mixed reactions to the country singer’s stance on DeSantis. Ch-ch-check out a few of them (below):
“Luke, you could have raised money without having DeSantis appear on stage with you.”
“Choices have consequences. I choose to not watch another episode of @AmericanIdol as long as you are sharing that ‘stage.’”
“Sad that you felt compelled to defend yourself. This country needs to stop with the cancel crap. Both sides.”
“Your greeting of DeSantis on stage certainly appeared to be more than wanting to help Hurricane victims. It looked like a full endorsement of DeSantis — DeSantis is worse than polarizing.”
“You can’t raise awareness without aligning yourself with a hateful person? I mean, I’ve seen many an entertainer do this throughout my life. You aren’t capable?”
“You invited a polarizing figure up and you knew it. You own it.”
“How unfortunate that you ‘stay out of politics.’ That you invite such a figure on stage but refuse to acknowledge the damage you do. You want to play both sides because you don’t want to lose money. Unfortunate and cowardly tbh.”
“This needs to be about the hurricane victims and not the politics. It’s hard to look at someone like DeSantis, but he is the governor and you were there to raise funds for the people. I’ve had to hold my nose while working with some people for the greater good.”
“Nobody upset in the comments was a real fan anyway.”
What do y’all think, Perezcious readers? Are U with Luke on this one? Or was this a bad move and a bad look? Share your take down in the comments (below)…
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