ESPN decided to pull its Monday Night Football introduction after singer Hank Williams, Jr. made comments comparing President Obama to Hitler. A statement put out by the network read:
“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.”
A source at ESPN told The Huffington Post that they are still evaluating whether they will use the song in the future.
UPDATE [9:08 p.m. ET]: TMZ reports on a statement released by Williams in which he explains that his comment was “misunderstood”:
Williams Jr. says, “Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme – but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me – how ludicrous that pairing was.”
He continues, “They’re polar opposites and it made no sense. They don’t see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the President.”
The full statement can be found here.
PREVIOUSLY: Hank Williams is more than ready for some political football.
The country singing star and voice of the Monday Night Football theme song, Williams appeared on “Fox and Friends” this morning to talk politics via satellite hookup. He got right into it, telling the hosts that he didn’t like any of the candidates in the GOP primary for President, and that John Boehner’s golf game with Barack Obama was a major mistake.
“That would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. Not hardly. In the shape this country is in?”
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.”
And while it was suggested that the President and Vice President were only two people, falling short of the trio he described, Williams just moved on to talking about the current race.
“The one that makes the most sense is Herman Cain,” he said, finally revealed which candidate he supported. Back in 2008, Williams ignited a controversy when, campaigning for John McCain, he said to an audience in Colorado, “Join me now in our national–you know, that song that, uh, Mr. Obama’s not real crazy about, we’re singing it right now.”
Williams says he plans a run for Senate in Tennessee in 2012 as a Republican.
Presumably, Williams wasn’t too excited when Obama gave a cold open to Monday Night Football back in 2006, teasing the announcement of a Presidential run before he actually jumped into the race.
Article Courtesy of The Huffington Post