Garth Brooks fans mistake Barry Sanders for Bernie Sanders

Brooks wore a Barry Sanders No. 20 jersey, in tribute to the legendary Detroit Lions running back and fellow Oklahoma State alum. Some fans thought it was an endorsement of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

SHARE Garth Brooks fans mistake Barry Sanders for Bernie Sanders
An image from Garth Brooks’ Instagram account created much confusion among his fans.

An image from Garth Brooks’ Instagram account created much confusion among his fans.

Garth Brooks Instagram

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 NFL fans and just about everybody in Michigan knows what the “Sanders 20” jersey represents, not everyone 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!” 


• “Sanders?? Don’t care about your politics. Love your music. Let’s keep politics and your entertainment separate.”

• “I had no idea you were a big freaking liberal socialist! I’ve listened to your songs for the last time!”

A public Facebook post on the confusion from two days ago has gone viral, with more than 11,000 shares as of Friday morning.

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


The Latest
The Resurrection Project is seeking a zoning change to allow a seven-story building with 98 units on Ashland Avenue, across from Benito Juarez Community Academy.
An NPR analysis in 2016 of which state best represents America found that Illinois is the clear winner, with demographic diversity and a broad cultural and geographic balance of rural, small-town, suburban and urban America.
The game will be rescheduled by the Big Ten, with input from both schools.
Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.
Meanwhile, a young male gorilla has headed off to St. Louis Zoo.