Barry Sanders jersey leads to political mix-up

A political misunderstanding over Garth Brooks wearing a Barry Sanders No. 20 jersey in Detroit drew a strong reaction on social media, including one from the Hall of Fame running back.

Last weekend, Brooks posted a photo on Instagram of the Sanders jersey prior to his concert in Detroit.

The confusion began with some commenters thinking the photo was a show of support for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 run to be the Democratic presidential candidate. Among the responses: “If this is for Bernie Sanders, I’m done with you,” “I wish you would’ve kept your political preferences to yourself,” and a slew of commenters trying to set the record straight that the jersey was honoring the Detroit Lions’ all-time rushing leader.

On Friday, Barry Sanders retweeted a photo collection of some of the reaction and invited Brooks to join his would-be administration, which the country singer said he would gladly be part of.

Brooks and Sanders share Oklahoma ties. Brooks is a Tulsa, Oklahoma, native and both attended Oklahoma State, where Sanders won the Heisman Trophy in 1988.

During the Saturday concert, a crowd of more than 70,000 chanted “Barry! Barry!” as Brooks, who wore the jersey on stage, praised the running back.

“I was lucky to go to school with him,” Brooks said, according to “You guys got the greatest player in NFL history, in my opinion, in this jersey. I love this man.

“And can I vouch for him firsthand from way back when he just came out of Kansas and got to Oklahoma State. He’s also one of the greatest human beings that you’ll ever get to witness and be with. He’s a good cat. It’s an honor to wear this jersey tonight.”

The Lions also showed support of the playful idea of a Barry Sanders presidential run in a tweet Friday.

Brooks has largely kept clear of airing political opinions recently, although he did decline to play at the inauguration of President Donald Trump in 2017, saying it conflicted with his touring schedule.

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