Approximately 50 people protested a concert by Ted Nugent Tuesday night in front of the “Toad’s Place” concert venue in New Haven, calling the musician a “racist”.
A brief shoving match was the only time Tuesday night’s protest steered toward violence but the rest of the rally was filled with tension as protesters shouted their beliefs just inches from those attending the concert they were against.
Yet fans of Ted Nugent and “Cat Scratch Fever” reached a fever pitch of their own, shouting and screaming aloud in an apparent effort to trump the sound of the protesters.
“His viewpoints are extremely offensive to a vast sector of the population, particularly New haven”, said Ina Staklo of “The ANSWER Coalition”.
Staklo speaks to the recent Nugent commentary in support of George Zimmerman and a statement where he called Trayvon Martin a “pot smoking gangsta wannabe”.
“We don’t accept hate speech in our city. We are not comfortable with a person who espouses these views”, said Staklo.
Nearly 3,000 people supported an online petition to shut the show down, calling Nugent “racist”, yet hundreds of others showed up in line for the show.
“…someone that’s speaking his mind, sharing his opinion. But then they want to use the same freedom of speech to shut the guy down”, said concert attendee E. Jonathan Hardy.
Despite the varied opinions displayed outside the concert venue, the owner of Toad’s Place said weeks ago, that the show would go on no matter what.
“That’s their business and they (Nugent) should have a right to say it and that’s what our country is all about,” said owner, Brian Phelps.
While some protesters are calling for an all-out boycott of Toad’s Place, some concert-goers say they’re simply watching the show for the music.
The protest began at 6:30 p.m. and lasted until just after 8 p.m. Doors opened at 7:30 p.m. for the show, which began at 8:30 p.m.