Follow Me

Monday, October 3, 2011

ESPN Drops Hank Williams Jr. From NFL Telecasts After He Calls Obama Hitler

Whether you are a country music fan or not, if you watch football, you know that Hank Williams Jr.'s 'All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight' is a staple of Monday nights.  The song has been the theme of Monday Night Football since 1991.  Well, according to a statement from ESPN today, hope you enjoyed it while it lasted, because you'll never hear it on the network again.

Why?  Because on this morning's Fox and Friends on Fox News, Williams compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler.  That's right.  Just watch:  (Sorry for the obligatory pre-clip advertisement.  It's beyond my control.)

Even the anchors from Fox and Friends had a puzzled look on their face.  Then again, why are you discussing politics with someone that calls himself "Bocephus"?  Can someone explain that name to me?  Is it an inside joke?  Am I not white enough to get it?

This afternoon, ESPN released the following statement:
“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.”
Who knows what Williams' political views really are.  Considering his comments today, it's probably not hard to guess.  I have never been a fan of his.  To me, he has always come across as somewhat racist - one of those people that glorify the South, and likely supports the flying of the Confederate flag.  Just look at the lyrics of his song, 'If the South Woulda Won'.  It's pretty easy to see where he stands.

I'm glad to see ESPN take a stand in this matter.  It may be a small step, but Williams is surely receiving a large sum in royalties from Monday Night Football broadcasts of his song.  Looks like the bulk of his income is going to be coming from county fairs and backwoods casino shows for a while.

Update:  According to TMZ, Williams has issued a statement regarding the comments made earlier today.  He isn't apologizing for what he said.  Rather, he's saying that his comments were "misunderstood":
"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.”

Williams Jr. adds, "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.”
Nice try, but you're not getting your contact back anytime soon. 


Anonyvox said...

You know, he had some great classic songs. But after that comment? I'm out. I won't be downloading any of his music now. Buh-bye, Bocephus.

I'm glad ESPN dropped him. They did the right thing.

Anonyvox said...

Yeah, I'm not buying the rebuttal. It doesn't take a lot of effort to read the news and see that "both sides" are not clinking champagne glasses over the ninth hole--they left the entire federal government unfunded through the first half of the last fiscal year due to petty in-fighting. They don't get along. And yeah, you do see people getting riled up and fighting for the little guy--take a look at Wall Street, why don't you?

My bullshit meter is pegged out on this one.