Hank Williams Jr. Not Returning To Monday Night Football

Despite his apology yesterday for comments equating the President and Hitler, Hank Williams Jr. and his rowdy friends will no longer be asking if America is ready for some football:

Having pulled his iconic Monday Night Football introduction song following his comments on Fox News comparing President Obama to Hitler on Monday, ESPN has announced that they are terminating their relationship with the country star permanently.

“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years,” the company said in a statement. “The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”

I think Stephen Colbert’s take on this was about right:

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Eric Florack says:

    Always did Like ol Bosephus. But apparently, while comparing Hitler to a Republican is acceptable, (say, Bush, for example) comparing him to a Democrat is not.

    Go back to your lives citizen. Nothing to see here… like any double standard.

  2. mantis says:

    Is the Institute for Football Preparedness going to take back his award?

    Nothing to see here… like any double standard.

    So you’re saying that ESPN had another contributor who compared GWB to Hitler and continued to be a contributor? Who was that, exactly?

  3. reid says:

    I see no reason to think that if a liberal had said the same thing about Bush when he was president, that ESPN wouldn’t have done the same thing. The double standard is all in your head, Eric.

  4. James Joyner says:

    I’m not sure saying dumb things on a morning show is a firing offense for a singer. It’s not as if he’s a show host or something. But if ESPN/Disney think this hurts their brand or will offend significant parts of their audience, it’s absolutely their call.

  5. Jay Tea says:

    It’s not exactly ESPN, but the NFL’s booked Madonna for this year’s Super Bowl, and she did the “Bush=Hitler” thing quite a bit…

    But as Eric noted… that’s different.

    J.

  6. Eric Florack says:

    @mantis: Why limit it to ESPN? You tell ME, Mantis… where is there any publicly documented negative consequence for comparing a Republican to Hitler, hmm? I’ll wait.

    James: I would suggest that Hank has more support than Obama does in this. ABC is hurting their brand in this action…. particularly given the approval numbers Obama’s been getting… and then particularly among football types.

  7. mantis says:

    Why limit it to ESPN?

    Because it was their decision to dump Williams, and it was your contention that that was hypocrisy. Are you now saying that ESPN should have somehow found a way to punish someone unrelated to them for comparing Bush to Hitler?

  8. MM says:

    @Eric Florack: Who compared Bush to Hitler and kept his or her job at ESPN?

    @Jay Tea: Unless ESPN owns or is owned by the NFL, yes it is different. Since ABC/Disney owns ESPN. and the NFL is a separate entity, you are both just handwaving because you MUST be victims somehow.

    Here, I’ll type slowly for you two:

    ESPN. Felt. The. Controversy. Damaged. Their. Brand.

    NFL. Clearly. Does. Not. Believe. Madonna. Performing. For. Three. Minutes. During. The Superbowl. Damages. Theirs.

  9. MM says:

    @mantis: ESPN must fire Alec Baldwin now!

  10. Eric Florack says:

    I said nothing of that. But it seems clear that the usual suspects pick their targets carefully.
    Again, can you find any publicly documented negative consequences for someone labeling a Republican as Hitler?

    I dare say there are many such for comparisons of Obama to him.

    Irony, that, since the followers of Ernst Rolm appear to be trying to take over lower Manhattan about now, in their support of “The One” (Watch the shouting that erupts over that comparison, folks. But watch the comparative silence on these. I suggest my point will have been made for me.

  11. mantis says:

    Again, can you find any publicly documented negative consequences for someone labeling a Republican as Hitler?

    MoveOn took a lot of flak for a video submitted to one of their contests for doing just that. I’m sure there are more examples, but that’s the first that comes to mind.

    I dare say there are many such for comparisons of Obama to him.

    I dare say you English no write good none.

    Irony, that, since the followers of Ernst Rolm appear to be trying to take over lower Manhattan about now,

    The Sturmabteilung has invaded? I thought all those guys were dead.

  12. MM says:

    @Eric Florack: So you expect people to find random anonymous posters (some in Europe, some in the US) and find the negative consequences that they may or may not have felt?

    You are the one leveling charges of and hypocrisy and rallying behind the victimhood mantle. Rather than just linking to a google image search and saying “prove me wrong”, it is incumbent upon YOU to find a similar example.

    “Some dude in a march somewhere” is not the equivalent to Hank Williams, Jr. Even Michael Moore would not be an equivalent to Hank Williams, unless Michael Moore was part of a promo for an apolitical network broadcast.

    Or here, if you really DO think you have a point:

    No, i doubt that some guy named Bjorn in Sweden, who created a Bush=Hitler poster in 2003 was fired for it. Direct your outrage to the Säkerhetspolisen. I’m sure that they will work super hard to make this right for you.

  13. Jay Tea says:

    @mantis: MoveOn took a lot of flak for a video submitted to one of their contests for doing just that.

    Yeah, it really left a mark. The still get plenty of Soros’ money, and are heftily involved with the OWS movement. Boy, they really learned their lesson, didn’t they?

    J.

  14. mantis says:

    Boy, they really learned their lesson, didn’t they?

    Yes, they learned that inviting people to submit their own creative political works can backfire if Fox News gets ahold of it and screams bloody murder for weeks on end.

    But then again, they are a political organization. If you are a celebrity endorser for or otherwise affiliated with a non-political product or organization, and you issue potentially offensive political statements, you should expect the possibility that your employer may not want to deal with you anymore. Thems the breaks.

    Of course, with the right wing, all you need do is wear a scarf and you’ll reap the whirlwind of wingnut rage. A terrorist scarf, that is.

  15. MM says:

    I’m pretty sure that MoveOn sings the national anthem at the World Series.

  16. anjin-san says:

    Golly gosh. Bithead and Jay Tea are such… victims. Sarah Palin too. Liberals are real mean.

  17. Jay Tea says:

    @mantis: Please. MoveOn took the submitted video and posted it online — which means that someone in a position of power (more likely someones) thought it was just fine and dandy. It was a lot more than “someone submitted a video.”

    And exactly what serious, long-term consequences did they suffer again?

    J.

  18. mantis says:

    And exactly what serious, long-term consequences did they suffer again?

    That wasn’t the question.

    But since you bring it up, what serious, long-term consequences has Hank Williams, Jr. suffered?

  19. jukeboxgrad says:

    jay tea:

    she [Madonna] did the “Bush=Hitler” thing quite a bit

    She supposedly ran a video (at a concert) that juxtaposed McCain and Hitler. As far as I know, this happened once. So aside from your words “Bush” and “quite a bit,” your statement appears to be correct.

    What would also make a difference is the size of the audience. I think Williams’ statement reached a much bigger one.

    What also makes a difference is the passage of time. What someone said three years ago is a lot less important (from a PR perspective) than what someone said last week. Wiliams might eventually be rehabilitated, but it will take a while.

  20. mattb says:

    It seems to me that this was a gift to ABC/ESPN. I suspect that they have wanted to get rid of Hank for a while — not necessarily because of politics, but because he’s been the opening for 20! years. He’d become a tradition that would have been a PR issue to get rid of.

    So this gave them all the cover that they needed to make that move.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I really don’t know who should be more upset, Hitler for being compared to Boehnert, or Netanyahou (sp?) for being compared to Obama…..

    (really folks, why does anyone think Jr (who is really bad at his craft) (unless his craft is “Grifting Rednecks”) was comparing Obama to Hitler? Nothing I have read said he made a direct comparison between the two (I have no sound on the computer now and no tv) so I may have missed something.

  22. mantis says:

    (really folks, why does anyone think Jr (who is really bad at his craft) (unless his craft is “Grifting Rednecks”) was comparing Obama to Hitler? Nothing I have read said he made a direct comparison between the two (I have no sound on the computer now and no tv) so I may have missed something.

    He calls Obama and Biden “the enemy” in the same discussion. I’m pretty sure he was comparing Obama to Hitler.

    When Brian Kilmeade said that he didn’t understand the analogy, Williams was non-plussed. “I’m glad you don’t brother, because a lot of people do. They’re the enemy… Obama! And Biden! Are you kidding? The Three Stooges.”

  23. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    I watched last Sunday night’s NFL game, the Jets versus the Ravens. During the playing of our National Anthem, two Ravens players were wearing some kind of head covering, one of which was shockingly pink.

    Now, I’m old enough to remember when menfolk uncovered their heads during such circumstances. Apparently, those those days have passed.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mantis: Thanx for the info, Mantis.

  25. Eric Florack says:

    @reid: Really? Show me ONE instance where that’s gone the other way.

    One.

    I’ll wait.

    Meanwhile, shall we list how any times a conservative gets booted for speaking their mind?

  26. Eric Florack says:

    So you’re suggesting being banned form the show he’s been a parrt of forever, isn’t a negative consequence>?