ESPN severs relationship with singer Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr., pictured on September 12, compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler in an interview this week on Fox News.
October 6th, 2011
10:33 AM ET

ESPN severs relationship with singer Hank Williams Jr.

ESPN says it has severed its relationship with singer Hank Williams Jr. following controversy over his remarks comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.

"We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years," a statement on ESPN's site said. "The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue."

Williams gave a very different statement: "After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. 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."

On Tuesday the singer had apologized Tuesday for his remarks which resulted in "Monday Night Football" pulling his popular musical introduction from this week's game.

"I have always been very passionate about politics and sports and this time it got the best or worst of me.

"The thought of the leaders of both parties jukin' [sic] and high fiven' [sic] on a golf course, while so many families are struggling to get by, simply made me boil over and make a dumb statement, and I am very sorry if it offended anyone. I would like to thank all my supporters. This was not written by some publicist," Williams wrote.

Williams made the comparison on Fox News this week when he was asked about Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, playing on the same team in a June golf game.

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Filed under: Sports
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. noemi

    About time someone put a boot up his a$$.never been a fan he is a bigot,cross burning banjo deliverence jerk.go home

    October 6, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mick

      It appears everybody at CNN failed their SAT regarding the DIFFERENCE between an "analogy" and a "comparison." For example, saying "Bananas are to apples as cats are to dogs" is NOT SAYING "CATS are BANANAS!" Hank made an ***ANALOGY*** – AND there is a first amendment right in play here.

      How hypocritical of CNN to NOT take Roseanne Barr to task, when she called for the use of guillotines to execute bankers. How hypocritical of CNN to NOT take the University presidents to task for charging outrageous tuitions and fees the Wall Street protesters rail against. How hypocritical of CNN to NOT take to task those whom attack from the offender position.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. forest gump

    stupid is as stupid does

    October 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    I'm neutral politically, but come on, many people used the Bush compared to Hitler analogy before and nobody lost their job over it.

    October 7, 2011 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Shaun

    We have a right to free speech. We also have a social responsibility to respect others. This is part of the problem with our society; a lack of respect and a loss of social responsibilitiy.

    October 7, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Carol

    Williams is a bully.

    October 7, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. 310 grover

    Yet another millionaire (under taxed) bigot who hides behind his politics and screams aboout his first amendment rights. I'll wager his high priced agent/lawyer signed a contract with ABC that resticted his language. If he feels so strongly, why not return all the money he made from the song?

    October 7, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. Will

    Hank should have known you can only BASH BUSH,......we're not allowed to speak unkindly of BIG EARS Obama,.....actually I think I can watch TV without ABC and ESPN in the future.

    October 7, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
    • john willow

      Spoken like a true garden-variety bigot, "Will."

      October 7, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    ESPN has a right to hire and fire at will. That said, this loudmouth, wannabee is an embarasment to so many ESPN watchers who try to act and speak in a civil manner. Just because you're a sports fan, doesn't mean you talk and act like an ignorant lout. Lots of growin' up needed here and even maybe some singin' lessons too!

    October 7, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. Unity

    You can tell this world is not changing because no one is trying to speak kind words or be kind to each other. We are suffering because of those people who wish to go public to air their mean and cruel comments about someone they don't like. Misery loves company!

    October 7, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. Katrina Holt

    So the Tea Party now wants to boycott ESPN's Monday night football for letting Hank Williams JR go for calling The POTUS Hitler on Fox "News" . Everyone in America should tune into ESPN Monday night, not because they agree or don't agree with ESPN's decision, but because "Freedom of Speech" doesn't mean you can just go spread ignorance and hate anytime you want. It was intended to be able to speak out against the government without fear of being tried for treason. An opinion can given with a sense of morality and respectful intelligence. Unless we combat the ignorance, it will continue to grow.

    October 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mick

    It appears everybody at CNN failed their SAT regarding the DIFFERENCE between an "analogy" and a "comparison." For example, saying "Bananas are to apples as cats are to dogs" is NOT SAYING "CATS are BANANAS!" Hank made an ***ANALOGY*** – AND there is a first amendment right in play here.

    How hypocritical of CNN to NOT take Roseanne Barr to task, when she called for the use of guillotines to execute bankers. How hypocritical of CNN to NOT take the University presidents to task for charging outrageous tuitions and fees the Wall Street protesters rail against. How hypocritical of CNN to NOT take to task those whom attack from the offender position.

    October 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
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