Friday, February 5, 2021

Bobby Bones & Morgan Wallen

I really enjoy the music of country singer Morgan Wallen, and I am disgusted, angered, and deeply saddened by the news that came out Thursday morning. 

As I drove to work on Thursday morning, I happened to tune in to Bobby Bones show on 106.7 The Bull in Denver, and I am very glad I did. Bones is arguably the voice in country music radio, as his nationally syndicated show reaches more than nine million listeners everyday. And with that platform, he gave a roughly ten minute response and statement to the news of Morgan Wallen on video, drunk and shouting a racial slur. Bones' commentary was heartfelt, authentic, and what the world needed to hear.

The entire segment is worth listening to, but I want to comment on a few parts. First of all, Bones notes that he woke up to an avalanche of texts from the industry, and the corporate voices were wondering whether he was going to prepare a statement, whether the show would play Morgan's music, and what he thought the response would be. Bones did not want to prepare a statement, as he wanted to take time to process and gather his thoughts and troubled emotions. And then when a caller to the show asked what he thought, Bones commented that well, yes he had some things to say.

Bones was deeply impacted and disturbed by the video of Wallen, noting that word doesn't even enter his mind. It's just not something he would ever think to say. But it clearly is in Wallen's mind. And that changes everything. Bones noted that while he is not a supporter of cancel culture, he is a proponent of "go away for a while." Morgan Wallen has a lot of work to do on himself. Bones (and I) does not believe people are beyond redemption, or that this is an unforgiveable action. But Morgan Wallen needs to go away "and get right." There is much more in the dialogue, and I was particularly affected by Bones' memories of his experience with his high school football team. "This is every day for them," he recalled with a heavy heart.

We still have a lot of work to do. And Bobby Bones took a big step for us with his words. I'm glad he said what he said, and I'm glad I was listening at the time because it helped me process some heavy feelings.

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