Brad Paisley Joins Interracial Best Friends for Virtual ‘Beer Summit’ After Viral Message of Unity [Watch]
Brad Paisley joined two interracial best friends in what he called a "beer summit" after their message about just relaxing and getting along over a few beers went viral.
New York country station Big Frog 104 reports that Benjamin Smith and Marcus Ellis are best friends who live in Rochester, N.Y., and they wanted to bring unity to the country after watching the protests that have sprung up all over the U.S. after the death of George Floyd on May 25.
Floyd, 46, was an unarmed black man who died at the hands of a white police officer named Derek Chauvin, who was filmed kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes, long after he became unresponsive. Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death, and three other officers who were on the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting. The viral video has touched off protests all over the country, some of which have been punctuated by looting and violence.
Smith and Ellis had a simple plan to endorse racial harmony, setting up two chairs and a sign at the end of their driveway in Rochester that reads, "Black or white. Relax and have a beer."
A photo of the two men doing just that went viral, and when it came to Paisley's attention, the "No I in Beer" singer decided to augment their beer supply by buying out a local beer warehouse and having cases and cases of suds delivered to the driveway, where people from all over were stopping by to drink a beer with the friends. WROC reports that Paisley called Smith and Ellis on Saturday (June 6) to let them know about the delivery and to personally thank them for their message of unity.
"Man, I am so thrilled to meet you face to face like this," he tells them in the video above. "I’m so inspired by you, and we thought we should deliver more beer than you could possibly drink… This is going to be a popular destination on this street."
Paisley hung around the Zoom call for about half an hour, chatting with people who had dropped by to drink a beer with Smith and Ellis and even offering up a live performance of "No I in Beer."
"I’m trying to hear out my friends in the black community, that’s what you guys are doing; together, the same thing," he told Smith and Ellis. "I’m all ears, always have been, I’ve had big ears my whole life," he joked.
Paisley has been in quarantine recently with his wife and kids, but he's been putting his time to good use by giving at-home performances, dropping in on random Zoom calls with educators and people on the front lines of the pandemic and even filming an uplifting message to the graduating Class of 2020.
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