Garth Brooks fans mistake Barry Sanders with Bernie Sanders causing outcry

Some tried to explain the mistake of the "Sanders 20" jersey, but many unwitting victims became confused, happy or enraged with the country singer's open "support" for the presidential hopeful.

The 53rd Annual CMA Awards - Show - Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. (photo credit: REUTERS)
The 53rd Annual CMA Awards - Show - Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Garth Brooks fans mistakenly confused United States Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders with a Hall of Fame Detroit Lions running back, after the popular American country singer wore a number 20 Barry Sanders jersey at his concert in Michigan last week, causing a disapproving outcry over social media for his ostensible support for the Vermont senator.
Although the jersey would be instantly recognizable to most casual NFL fans and the distinction would be almost automatic, many Brooks fans – in the heat of the election year – assumed that the jersey emblazoned with the number "20" and the last name "Sanders" was in effect showing support for senator Sanders.
Eventually the confusion led to the 13-time Grammy winner and one of country music's best-selling artists being accused of being a "millionaire socialist" online, asking him to "stay out of politics."
Many tried to correct the assumption, explaining the distinction for those who were unaware, and trying to quell the confusion and the rumors before they escalated. Some of the comments were positive, thanking Brooks for his support of Bernie Sanders. Others, well aware of the mix-up, just decided to strap in for the ride and joyously read the comments.
As a result of the uproar, however, the confusion filled the Internet with memes featuring senator Sanders behind the lyrics of Brooks' hit song "Friends in Low Places." The conversation spread among unwitting victims on social platforms. Many who still did not understand either became confused, happy or enraged with the country singer's open "support" for the presidential hopeful – and the comments are still pouring in.
Brooks was invited to perform at US President Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017, garnering criticism after he declined the invitation in order to honor a previous commitment to perform a show in Ohio that day.