Nickelback NFL Halftime Performance Protested By Detroit Residents

Nickelback B&W publicity 2011
Travis Shinn

In a Friday announcement, the Lions decided to go ahead with their musical choice for the annual Thanksgiving Day game.

Football fans tuned to the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day game on Nov. 24 will be treated to a halftime performance from Nickelback, despite the protests of city residents.

In a joint statement, the NFL and United Way announced that the Canadian band would help ring in the American holiday as part of the 2011 United Way Thanksgiving Halftime Show.  The game, to be broadcast live on Fox, will see the Lions host the Green Bay Packers at 12:30 p.m. ET. Also joining the festivities is American Idol season 10 runner-up, Lauren Alaina, who will sing the National Anthem.  

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The NFL’s selection of Nickelback sparked a public outcry in the home of Motown, with 50,000 local residents signing a petition in opposition to the performance. Homegrown acts such Kid Rock, Eminem, Ted Nugent and Bob Seger have each been cited among the better options.

“This game is nationally televised, do we really want the rest of the US to associate Detroit with Nickelback,” wrote one resident. Another zinged, “I'd rather see Rebecca Black unleash her newest single ‘Thursday’ at halftime than have to listen to Nickelback.”

On a more serious note, one season ticket holder wrote, “I have been a season ticket holder my entire adult life and truly look forward to the Thanksgiving game. This year, when times are tough and I am putting my hard earned money toward attending this game, and the team is finally doing well, I feel as though there should be a more universally recognized enjoyable band that represents the Motor City and our rich heritage of Rock and Roll and Soul music. This is Motown after all.”

“We are honored to perform at the United Way halftime show on Thanksgiving Day,” Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger said in a statement. “We always love playing in Detroit, our fans there have been tremendously supportive of us through the years and we can’t wait to come back and celebrate an exciting day for the Lions and the city of Detroit.”

A representative for the band did not immediately return The Hollywood Reporter’s request for comment.