Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon presented country music superstar Jason Aldean with a key to the city.
The unique "key to the city" was inspired by a recent hit by Aldean, "Try That in a Small Town."
Kennon gave it to Aldean and posted a photo of the two together on social media.
\"Jason & Brittany Aldean were very appreciative of the key to the city of Orange Beach," Kennon said.
Over the summer, the music video for the song was pulled by CMT after calls to boycott Aldean and the song. Aldean explained the song's lyrics were about protecting each other, but critics said it was racist and claimed footage used in the video evoked hatred and racism.
After the song became popular among supporters, Kennon hung the key to the city with a revolver and "Try That In a Small Town" carved on it. Those angered by the show of patriotism and small-town pride took to social media to attack Kennon.
Laura F. Hicks posted, "This is about as redneck as you can get. Good Lord!"
Amelia Annette Baldwin wrote, "Wow! That's not encouraging for tourism. What a bad message to send as a mayor of a lovely tourist destination."
Kennon responded by saying he would stick by his beliefs no matter what others say. He also suggested a few of his critics run for mayor if they think they could do better.
Kennon, known for being outspoken about controversial issues, had supporters online who said they were proud to be from Orange Beach and have a mayor who protects the city and its people.
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