Florida Georgia Line Set the Record Straight Following ‘Anti-Police’ Allegations
Florida Georgia Line, the Country Thunder music festival and two sheriffs are setting the record straight following online rumors that the country duo is "anti-police."
FGL performed at Wisconsin's Country Thunder music festival on Friday (July 22), then played the Great Jones County Fair in Monticello, Iowa, on Saturday (July 23). On social media, reports began popping up that the duo had requested no police presence at both shows, and based on the reports, social media users began labeling Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley "anti-police."
News reports, however, explain that Hubbard and Kelley had asked not for no police within the venues, but no police backstage: Jones County Sheriff Greg Graver tells TMZ he was told that no uniformed officers were being allowed backstage at FGL's fair concert, but that the band had asked for a police escort when leaving the show (a request that Graver denied).
"Part of it was because we're busy, and part of it was I didn't talk to them directly, and I wished they would have reached out to me," Graver tells Fox 411 Country. "They didn't want us backstage, so we just opted out of the escort. It's not something that we're mandated to do."
At Country Thunder, meanwhile, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth tells Fox 411 Country he was told that a spokesperson for Florida Georgia Line had requested "that no law enforcement be backstage while they were on the grounds," but that Country Thunder's management told the duo's team they needed to keep festivalgoers safe and would not be honoring the request; police "were on the grounds the entire event, covering the camp sites, festival grounds and also [backstage]," Beth reports.
"The organizers of Country Thunder have been made aware of recent comments on social media regarding FGL at the festival. We have seen the original post, and none of it was true," a Facebook post on the festival's official page reads. "We had an epic show Friday night with FGL, and an amazing weekend with all of the artists and fans!!"
For their part, Hubbard and Kelley write on their social media platforms "that we have nothing but love and respect for the police," adding, "We are bummed anyone ever got a different impression." A representative for Florida Georgia Line tells The Boot that Country Thunder and the duo's social media posts are their official statements on the matter.
Florida Georgia Line are currently on the road on their Dig Your Roots Tour. Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder tells Fox 411 Country that no specific requests have been made ahead of their upcoming (July 28) show at Billings, Mont.'s Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.
A complete list of upcoming tour dates is available on FGL's website. Their third studio album, Dig Your Roots, is due out at the end of August.
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