The only part to this story I do not understand is why it took days to complete. ESPN had every right to flush Hank Williams Jr. the moment it came to light what he had said about President Obama. This is not about free speech rights for Williams, but instead has everything to do with the face and image that ESPN wants to project. For Williams to spin it any other way is only for a face-saving attempt that falls flat.
There is certainly a red-neck segment of America, but it does not need to be condoned by the media. Thanks to ESPN there will be one less red-neck allowed air-time. For that I say “Hurrah”!
Hank Williams Jr. and his iconic theme song will not return to ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” the network announced Thursday.
In the wake of Williams using an analogy involving Adolf Hitler and President Barack Obama to make a political point on the Fox News Channel, Williams’ “All My Rowdy Friends” will no longer be part of the MNF opening.
“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr,” ESPN said in a statement. “We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
On his own website, Williams said he was the one who made the decision.
“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision,” he wrote. “By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.”
In an interview Monday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Williams, unprompted, said of Obama’s outing on the links with House Speaker John Boehner “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”