John Rich Supports Carrie Underwood Amid Anti-Mask Backlash: ‘It’s Freedom of Speech Unless You Disagree With the Mob’

John Rich is showing his support for Carrie Underwood in the midst of a Twitter firestorm.  Underwood is facing extensive…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 17, 2021


9:52 pm

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John Rich; Photo Courtesy Fox Nation, Carrie Underwood; Photo by Jason Kempkin, Getty Images

John Rich is showing his support for Carrie Underwood in the midst of a Twitter firestorm. 

Underwood is facing extensive backlash on the social media platform after liking an anti-mask Tweet from conservative commentator Matt Walsh. 

The Tweet Underwood liked showcased a video of Walsh’s speech at a recent Nashville Schools Board meeting where he “spoke out against the cruel and indefensible mask mandate for children.”

As news of her support of the anti-mask rhetoric spread around the internet, fellow country singer John Rich took to Twitter to show his support for the “Cry Pretty” singer. 

“I say @carrieunderwood can like whatever tweet she wants to like. Who are ‘they’ to shout her down?,” he wrote. “Watch out, she’s a tough Okie gal:) You see what’s going on here? It’s ‘freedom of speech unless you disagree with the mob.’

Rich closed his post with the hashtag, #CarrieTakeTheWheel.

While some users, like Rich, supported Underwood, many were outraged. 

“I just deleted all of Carrie Underwood songs from my Spotify. I’m not supporting that! #WearAMask,” one user wrote. 

Another user shared, “Carrie Underwood being a God-over-Science person is the least surprising thing I’ve heard today. Delta take the wheel…”

Walsh’s video embedded within his Tweet has over 1.1 million views. 

In the clip, Walsh said that he believes Covid-19 poses “almost no threat to our kids at all,” and that a mask mandate should be seen as “child abuse.” He went on to criticize the school board for “teaching them that the air is toxic, that everyone around them is sick.”

Masking children in schools is a hot topic in the state of Tennessee this week. Governor Bill Lee, a Republican, signed an executive order on Monday (Aug. 16) allowing parents to opt out of mask mandates at school.  

The executive order comes as the state of Tennessee is reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases among children. According to Tennessee Department of Health data, 9,074 school-aged children have tested positive for the virus in the past 14 days. The number of children infected has increased by 950% in just one month, according to Fox 17

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.