ESPN Yanks Monday Night Football Intro After Hank Williams Jr.’s Controversial Statement
As viewers of Monday Night Football tuned in Monday night, many noticed the glaring omission of Hank Williams Jr.’s famous “Are You Ready For Some Football” anthem that would always sound out the opening. Williams, the son of Country music legend Hank Williams, appeared on the Fox News program “Fox And Friends”, was asked his opinion about a recent golf game this past July where President Barack Obama had partnered up with Republican Speaker of the House, John Boener in a game against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio governor John Kasich. Williams stated that he viewed the pairing as “one of the biggest political mistakes ever.”
When asked to elaborate on this thought, Williams went on to say “Come on. That’d be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. Not hardly.”
The comment comparing the current President to Hitler built up in controversy, which brought ESPN to their decision to yank Williams’ sports staple hit from their October 3rd broadcast. In a statement given by an ESPN spokesperson on the network’s decision, they stated that Williams was “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 later acknowledged the controversy, stating that his comments were “extreme” and that it was meant to make a point. “I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me. How ludicrous that pairing was. (Obama and Boener are) polar opposites and it made no sense. They don’t see eye-to-eye and never will.”
Williams went on to say that he’s always respected the office of presidency, but added “Every time the media brings up the Tea Party, it’s painted as racist and extremists — but there’s never a backlash, no outrage to those comparisons. Working-class people are hurting and it doesn’t seem like anybody cares. When both sides are high-fiving it on the ninth hole when everybody else is without a job it makes a whole lot of us angry. Something has to change. The policies have to change.”
It’s not been stated whether ESPN will air the opening with Williams’ “Are You Ready For Some Football” again at any point.