Tootsies owner decides not to file lawsuit over Kid Rock, Christmas parade fallout

Local News

Tootsies owner Steve Smith has decided not to file a lawsuit over the fallout involving Kid Rock and Nashville’s annual Christmas parade.   

Bryan Lewis, an attorney for Smith said in a statement Monday morning, “After reflection over the weekend, Mr. Smith has decided against filing suit to recoup his $250,000 donation to the Christmas parade. Mr. Smith and Tootsies were happy to serve as the headline sponsor since Piedmont Gas decided to drastically reduce its sponsorship.”  

The statement continued, “Mr. Smith is happy that the money is benefiting a great cause – Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and Mr. Smith hopes to continue supporting the hospital and parade.”   

The statement went on to say Smith is “extremely disappointed” in Mayor David Briley and Councilman Freddie O’Connell. After Kid Rock appeared on Fox and Friends live from his downtown honky tonk, both Briley and O’Connell said they would not participate in the parade if Kid Rock remained grand marshal. Their stance came after the singer called longtime ABC co-host of “The View” Joy Behar a b**** and said people need to “get a little less politically correct.”   

“People need to calm down, get a little less politically correct and I would say you know, love everybody. Except, screw that Joy Behar b****,” Kid Rock said.      

On Monday, the talk show host gave a shout out to Mayor Briley on national television for taking a stand against Kid Rock’s comment.  

“On Friday, we were talking about Kid Rock, and I don’t know if you read about this, it seemed to be all over the place,  but I want to give a shout out to the mayor of Nashville, David Briley for defending my honor and my good name. Thank you, David,” Behar said.  

After Friday’s fallout involving Kid Rock as grand marshal, Antioch Waffle House hero, James Shaw was honored during Saturday’s parade.  

Kid Rock watched the annual parade from his downtown honky tonk with his family, along with Smith.  

“Kid Rock is a prominent member of the Nashville community who has donated his time and money to multiple local charities and charitable causes,” Smith’s attorney said Monday.   

A publicist on behalf of the organizers told News 2 the grand marshal and all decisions about entertainment and performers are made by the parade’s selection committee, which includes stakeholder representatives, like event sponsors and beneficiaries. It is unknown if any changes will be made for next year’s event.  

The mayor’s office backed that up saying the Nashville Christmas parade is put on by a private entity, not Metro and they are not involved in any official capacity. There is, however, a long tradition of the mayor participating in the event.  

“Mr. Smith sincerely hopes Mayor Briley will not be a factor in any decisions for our city after the August 2019 election for mayor,” the statement continued in part.   

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