Luke Bryan Responds To Criticism Over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Appearance At Jacksonville Concert

Luke Bryan & Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis/Twitter

Luke is responding to his critics.

Luke Bryan was in Jacksonville, Florida this weekend, just weeks after he was forced to reschedule three Florida shows when the suffered massive damage from Hurricane Ian.

And before the show started, Luke took to the stage solo to address the crowd:

“We typically do not start a concert with me walking out here. We like to be a little more creative than that.

But as you guys know, a couple of weeks ago, the state of Florida was hit with a tragic hurricane event and we’ve been thinking about the state of Florida, and we’re going to have some fun and we’re going to raise some money tonight for the great state of Florida.”

Luke then surprised the crowd with a special guest: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The governor took the stage to thunderous applause, tossing out caps to the crowd and welcoming concertgoers to “the free state of Florida” before bantering with Luke and the crowd about the upcoming Florida-Georgia game (which Luke’s Georgia Bulldogs ultimately won 42-20).

Luke then went on tell the crowd that the proceeds from his upcoming show in Estero, Florida, which was rescheduled to November 2 after the town was hit hard by Hurricane Ian and the arena was turned into an emergency shelter, would be donated to the state’s hurricane relief fund.

@kati_lovinlb Luke Bryan gave Governor DeSantis a Georgia Bulldogs jersey after bringing him out tonight in Jacksonville ❤🖤 #lukebryan #jacksonvilleflorida #georgiabulldogs #desantis #vystararena #raiseduprighttour #godawgs @lukebryan ♬ original sound – Kati

Luke also used the opportunity to take a friendly jab at DeSantis’s Florida Gators, presenting the governor with a Georgia Bulldogs jersey.

Overall the crowd seemed fired up and appeared to enjoy the appearance from their governor.

But Twitter, on the other hand…

As video from the DeSantis appearance began to circulate, many on the left took to Twitter to “cancel” Luke Bryan for allowing DeSantis onstage – with some even trying to get him removed from his spot as a judge on American Idol and the host of the upcoming CMA Awards.

And this afternoon, Luke took to Twitter to respond to the criticism.

In a statement, the “Country Girl Shake It For Me” singer said that while he knows DeSantis is a polarizing figure, the most important thing for him was using the opportunity to raise money for those affected by the hurricane:

“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 asks you if they can come and raise awareness to help victims of a natural disaster you help.

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.

This is all I am saying about this. I’ll be outdoors with my boys. Enjoy your Sunday. Love y’alll. #GoDawgs

Text: disaster to 20222 to support.”

So will this quiet the critics on social media?

Of course not. We live in a time of incredible polarization where it’s easier to be outraged than it is to have a civilized conversation.

But at least Luke said what we wanted to say. And while I’m not a huge fan of his music, good for Luke for using his platform to raise money for a community in need.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock