Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic has caused a bit of a stir among fans and fellow musicians after praising U.S. President Donald Trump for his response to Black Lives Matter protests triggered by the unjust death of George Floyd last month.
During his controversial speech on June 1, Trump, 73, claimed that he would deploy “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers” to put an end to the protests if states didn’t begin mobilizing their National Guard.
Following the nationwide address, Novoselic, 55, took to his private Facebook account publicly commending Trump for the “strong and direct” tone used in his speech, suggesting that it “spoke” to “many” U.S. citizens.
“Wow!” the musician wrote in the since-deleted social media post. “I know many of you can’t stand him, however, Trump knocked it out of the park with this speech.”
“Social media and television are looping images of societal breakdown,” he added. “I agree, the president should not be sending troops into states — and he legally might not be able to anyway — nevertheless, his tone in this speech is strong and direct.”
Novoselic continued: “Most Americans want peace in their communities and President Trump spoke to this desire. Never mind the legal details that few understand, Trump said he would stop the violence and this speaks to many.”
Though some supported the In Bloom rocker’s opinion, Novoselic was met with hundreds of comments from both fans and friends — across various social media platforms — criticizing him for being a “fascist” or for even showing any form of support for the Republican Leader.
Before deleting his post, Novoselic addressed a fan questioning whether his account was authentic or a “parody.” He denied this and wrote that it was “not a partisan echo chamber,” according to the Guardian.
“I prefer to think for myself, thank you,” added the bassist.
Here’s what some other social media users had to say:
Even R.E.M.’s Mike Mills had something to say.
“Oh, Krist, no…” he tweeted on Tuesday.
“Tired of being known for years as ‘the other guy’ from Nirvana, Krist Novoselic has rebranded as ‘the s—ty guy’ from Nirvana,” another Twitter wrote user in response.
In addition to the controversial Facebook post, Novoselic has since deleted his Twitter account.
Before he removed his profile, however, the California-born bassist expressed his support for Black communities amidst the George Floyd protests in a tweet.
“People. Go home now and let’s build our future! There is a lot of work to do. Goodnight. Had enough of this social media outrage generator/echo chamber — a network run by corporations and capitalism. Hug your family, be kind to your neighbours and always remember Black Lives Matter,” he wrote, according to to the Independent.
Despite the backlash, at least one fan has since expressed their support for Novoselic.
“What Krist Novoselic said was true,” they tweeted, “and it was ballsy too — just like Nirvana always was.”
“There’s an element at the protests that are absolutely hurting the cause and I wish more people would speak out about it,” they added.
Following the widespread criticism, Novoselic posted an additional Facebook on Wednesday, in an attempt to clarify his political stance.
“As an avowed independent, I don’t endorse a major party or candidate,” he wrote. “And it feels insane to have to say this, but I don’t support fascism, and I don’t support an authoritarian state.”
“I believe in a civilized society and that we all have to work toward that,” concluded Novoselic.
Though he said his plan to deploy the U.S. military and ultimately put an end to the George Floyd protests was effective immediately, Trump has not yet deployed any armed forces — to any states — as of this writing.
Just as Novoselic said, legally, Trump may not be able to do such a thing.
The American Civil War-era Posse Comitatus Act prohibits federal troops from executing domestic law enforcement measures such as making arrests or searching people.
— With files from Global News’ David Lao and Emerald Bensadoun