- The Washington Times - Friday, December 2, 2016

Annoyed with a front-row heckler who flipped him the bird, Luke Bryan briefly stepped off the stage Wednesday night mid-song and punched the concert-goer, an incident caught on camera that has since gone viral.

A representative for Mr. Bryan is out with a statement defending the singer’s altercation at country legend Charlie Daniels’s 41st Annual Volunteer Jam in Nashville.

“A man in [the] front row was making crude hand gestures toward Luke during his performance,” the unnamed rep told Entertainment Tonight Online. “It was insulting not only to him, but more importantly to the men, women and families sitting around him who were there to support and celebrate Charlie Daniels and the efforts of raising money for the military veterans – some of who were in the audience. The concert security personnel saw the man’s disruptive actions of the event and he was escorted out.”

According to Bridgestone Arena’s website, a portion of the proceeds from Wednesday’s concert are designated to benefit The Journey Home Project.

The non-profit, co-founded by Mr. Daniels and his manager, David Corlew, describes its mission as “connecting donors to veterans’ organizations that do the most good.”

Reaction on social media outlets has been mixed, with some cheering Mr. Bryan as putting a heckler in his place while others complained the singer crossed a line. At least one Facebook user suggested double standards by law enforcement when it comes to concert violence by musicians.

“Kevin Gates is in jail for kicking a fan fight? One that repeatedly touched him against his will? Well let’s see what happens to Luke Bryan,” wrote a Delaware man on Facebook, referring to a rapper convicted of a misdemeanor assault charge by a Florida jury in October.

Mr. Gates is currently serving a 180-day sentence in a Polk County jail for a charge of simple battery stemming from a Sept. 2015 nightclub incident, reported WFLA.com on Oct. 26.


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