ESPN Pulls Hank Williams Jr. Open From Monday Night Football Over Remarks About Obama
As James Joyner noted earlier today, Hank Williams Jr. raised more than a few eyebrows when he referred to President Obama and Vice-President Biden as “the enemy,” among other things, on Fox News Channel this morning.
This afternoon, the other shoe dropped:
“While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
Inevitable, I would think given the fact that ESPN has been pretty quick in the past to disassociate itself from figures who make controversial statements. Whether this means a permanent ban from the network is unclear.
Further details from ESPN.com:
The Hank Williams Jr. song that has opened Monday Night Football for 20 years will not be part of the opening of this week’s Indianapolis-Tampa Bay game after Williams made controversial comments about President Barack Obama.
Williams compared Obama to Adolf Hitler on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” show Monday morning.
ESPN, in a statement, said: “While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
Williams, who’s song “All My Rowdy Friends” has been the Monday Night Football theme on both ABC and ESPN since 1991, told “Fox and Friends” that he thought Speaker of the House John Boehner playing golf with President Obama “would be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu … In the shape this country is in?”
Told by anchor Brian Kilmeade that he didn’t understand the analogy, Williams said: “I’m glad you don’t, brother, because a lot of people do. They’re the enemy.” Asked who, Williams said: “Obama. And Biden. Are you kidding? The Three Stooges.”
As has already been remarked, I suspect that Williams may not have been entirely sober this morning.