• Waffle House hero replaces Kid Rock as Nashville Christmas parade grand marshal

    By: Fiza Pirani, Atlatna Journal-Constitution

    Updated:
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

    James Shaw Jr., the man who helped disarm a gunman at a Nashville Waffle House in April, replaced musician Kid Rock as grand marshal in the city’s Christmas parade, according to the Tennessean.

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    Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, was ousted at the last minute for making profane comments about “The View” co-host Joy Behar during a Friday interview on “Fox & Friends” about his new restaurant.

    During the interview with Fox host Steve Doocy, Kid Rock condemned the country’s divisiveness and “oversensitivity” under President Donald Trump, saying, “We can disagree and still be cordial with one another. God forbid you say something a little bit wrong; you’re racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, this that and the other. People need to calm down, get a little less politically correct, and I would say, love everybody.”

    >> Who is James Shaw Jr.?

    But his comments didn’t stop there.

    He continued, “I would say, 'love everybody,' except I'd say, screw that Joy Behar (expletive).”

    Behar has emerged as one of Trump's biggest critics, while Rock has appeared with the president at the White House.

    Doocy immediately apologized for Kid Rock’s statement and the network issued another apology on air later that day. But the backlash ensued online, first with Nashville Councilman Freddie O’Connell’s refusal to attend the parade with Kid Rock as grand marshal, followed by Mayor David Briley’s refusal. The sponsors shortly followed suit.

    Parade organizers considered an alternate in Shaw, who they described as a “community hero” fit for a role meant to “personify the spirit of the Nashville community,” according to the Tennessean. The decision to officially replace Rock with Shaw wasn’t solidified until the day of the parade.

    “When the dust settled, the clouds parted and the parade finally began, it was James Shaw Jr. in the grand marshals’ chariot” at Nashville’s Christmas Parade on Saturday, the newspaper reported. “And maybe, maybe Nashvillians feel, it always should have been.”

    Kid Rock took to Instagram to address his removal from the parade. “In the end, it is not about me,” he captioned a photo with his granddaughter. “It is about the kids and the wonderful work they do at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Either way, myself, family and especially my granddaughter, are gonna enjoy today.”

    Shaw rode in a horse-drawn carriage with relatives of musician Akilah Dasilva, one of four who died in the April shooting at the Nashville-area Waffle House. Shaw received acclaim for his bravery during the shooting, finding a way to wrestle a rifle from the gunman and throw it out of his reach, likely saving the lives of several patrons.

    “It warms the heart to be here with the Dasilva family,” Shaw said while climbing in, according to the Tennessean.

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