Country music legend Charlie Daniels died at the age of 83 after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. This led to a public outpouring of emotions on social media, as well as at Bridgestone Arena. The NHL's Nashville Predators released a statement on Monday mourning the longtime icon.
The Predators posted a photo showing Daniels playing his fiddle at Bridgestone Arena. The Country Music Hall of Famer wore a Predators jersey and hat and was surrounded by thousands of fellow fans. The team said that Daniels was a "proud supporter" of the hockey team and expressed condolences following his death. Brooks Bratten, the team's content coordinator, said that Daniels' passion for the Predators "was undeniable."
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Charlie Daniels. Charlie was a proud supporter of the Nashville Predators and we are so grateful for his love over the years.
Our hearts are with his wife Hazel, his loved ones, and the country music community. 💛 pic.twitter.com/wCerMwRgkx— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) July 6, 2020
"Rest In Peace Charlie Daniels. Thanks for your music and your work for our military and their families," said Gnash, the Predators mascot. This tweet partnered with a multitude of others expressing sadness about Daniels' death. Nashville has a reputation for incredible music and diehard hockey fans, and the man behind "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" fit both of these categories.
As an example of his love for both veterans and the Predators, the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center partnered with Middle Tennessee State University and the Predators to establish the General's Fund. The purpose of this fund was to provide educational opportunities for veterans that gave up their education in order to serve overseas. Money generated by the team and Bridgestone Arena during the now-postponed 2019-2020 season would go directly to the General's Fund and the veterans in need of assistance.
"When we ask our men and women, who volunteer, to go and put their lives between us and our enemy, to risk their lives every day of their lives… How many people are willing to do that?" Daniels said in March 2020. "The least we can do when they come back is to take care of every need that they have. Regardless of whether it's a material need, if it's an emotional need, if it's a medical need, whatever it happens to be, we need to be there for them."