He's known as one of the biggest legends of outlaw country. But Hank Williams Jr. may have gotten a bit too "rowdy" for his own good this week. Due to controversial political comments made during a TV interview on Monday, the superstar has landed in hot water and may have lost his longtime alliance with ESPN's Monday Night Football.
"It would be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu," he stated of the event.
Visibly startled, the hosts of the program asked Williams to explain. Williams confirmed he was comparing the president to Adolf Hitler, then called him and Vice President Joe Biden "The enemy...the Three Stooges."
"That's only two," said flustered host Steve Doocy--probably in an attempt to inject some levity--but the damage was done.
Hours later, ESPN issued 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."
Williams released his own statement later on Monday explaining his comments:
"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. 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.
"Every time the media brings up the Tea Party it's painted as racist and extremist. 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."
Williams's "All My Rowdy Friends" has been the Monday Night Football theme for both ABC and ESPN since 1991. It's not been confirmed by ESPN yet if the network will permanently ban his tune.
Do you think ESPN was justified in pulling Williams's theme song from Monday Night Football? Be sure to let me know what you think.
As always, be sure to:
- Monday Night Football