April 9, 2016 12:42 pm
Updated: April 11, 2016 7:00 pm

North Carolina congressman labels Springsteen a ‘bully’ for cancelling concert

Bruce Springsteen performs onstage at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 2016 in New York City.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

A North Carolina congressman says Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen is a “bully” for cancelling Sunday’s concert in Greensboro.

Rep. Mark Walker, who represents parts of Greensboro, told the Hollywood Reporter, “It’s disappointing he’s not following through on his commitments.”

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Springsteen , who has performed before two of the 11 biggest crowds in Greensboro history, cancelled a concert in the city Sunday in protest of the state’s new “bathroom law” which forces transgender people transgender people to use the restroom that conformed to their gender identities. But the law signed March 23 also bars all cities and counties in the state from passing anti-discrimination ordinances that would protect gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.

READ MORE: Bruce Springsteen cancels N.C. concert over anti-LGBT law

“Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them,” Springsteen said in a statemment.

“It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

WATCH: Supporters, protesters of bathroom bill hold rallies in North Carolina. Steve Crump reports.

Springsteen’s guitarist Steven Van Zandt, called it the kind of legislation that’s like an “evil virus” spreading around the U.S.

“We always try to find middle ground, and we considered it,” he told The Associated Press. “Should we go there and make a statement from the stage? You consider those things, and then you realize that’s just playing into their hands. That’s not going to hurt enough – you need to hurt them economically.”

READ MORE: Here are the companies opposing North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law

The concert will cost Greensboro Coliseum an estimated $100,000 plus any tourism dollars that would have flowed into the city from the more than 15,000 fans which would have been in attendance.

“You would have had thousands of people coming from other parts of the state and from all over the East Coast,” said Andrew Brown, a spokesman for the coliseum told the Winston-Salem Journal.

Walker also took another shot at Springsteen while noting that Def Leppard and Justin Bieber would also be performing in Greensboro soon.

“I’ve never been a Bieber fan, but I might have to go. Maybe artists who weren’t ‘born to run’ deserve a little bit more support,” he told the Hollywood Reporter, referencing one Springsteen’s most famous song titles.

“Bruce is known to be on the radical left,” continued Walker, “and he’s got every right to be so, but I consider this a bully tactic. It’s like when a kid gets upset and says he’s going to take his ball and go home.”

State Republican leaders seem to be at a loss as to why Springsteen pulled the plug on Sunday’s concert.

“Bruce Springsteen’s concert would have been the perfect forum to explain his support for allowing men to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, and it’s unfortunate that he instead chose to cancel on his loyal fans at the last minute,” Senate leader Phil Berger said in a statement.

-With files from The Associated Press.

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