Kid Rock was announced as the featured NHL ASG act.

The NHL created a whole lot of backlash Tuesday with its announcement of Kid Rock as the featured 2nd intermission performer at the upcoming All-Star Game on Feb. 18.

Kid Rock, or Robert James Ritchie, has earned five Grammy nominations and sold over 25 million albums in the U.S., and he does have a new album to promote (Sweet Southern Sugar, released in November). But Ritchie has also garnered a lot of political attention with his endorsement of Donald Trump, his right-wing speeches at concerts, and even his brief flirtation with running for a U.S. Senate seat.

Beyond that, his highest-profile musical successes are a while back; 2010’s Born Free was his last album to go platinum, and his two latest albums haven’t even gone gold yet. So there’s been substantial criticism of this move both from political and relevance angles.

Here’s some of it:

NBCSN had Ritchie on Tuesday night for the official announcement, and that was an interesting interview. First, here’s their announcement, with Jeremy Roenick saying “Can’t get a better guy” and Ritchie playing up his Detroit roots:

Roenick then talked about his friendship with Ritchie, saying “When I talk to people about you, I say, ‘Kid Rock is the most talented musician, I think ever, on the planet, because you can put any instrument in your hand or on your mouth and you can play anything and rock a house and sing any kind of genre.” Ritchie replied with a self-deprecating “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

He then followed that up by talking about working hard the way athletes do:

Ritchie later talked about how he hasn’t done TV for a while, because “It’s a turnoff with all the politics that go into it, what you can and can’t do.” He said the NHL was open to “trying to make this special”:

He went on to talk about how he hopes this leads to other entertainers being given more free reign:

So, this will certainly be an interesting move. The NHL’s taken a lot of Twitter heat over it, but they obviously feel Ritchie’s a valuable get for them. We’ll see how his performance goes and what kind of reaction it generates.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.