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. HotTubDeathMachine

    He was only make an analogy of the golf pairing... as in mortal enemies like the leader of Israel and the man who tried to exterminate the Jews in the 20th century would ever be paired in golf. BESIDES Hitler was a scratch golfer... Netanyahu has an 8 handicap.

    October 6, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • luca

      You mean Kim Jong Il is the scratch golfer.

      Hank Williams can say what he wants freedom of speech and all that stuff. But he does not have the expectation that ESPN will keep paying him. Moral – you are a marginal public figure so shut up and seem the fool rather than open your mouth and leave no dobut.

      October 6, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Bemused

      hey, HotAir, would you then agree that Netanyahu / Boehner should have refused to play golf with the mortal enemy? Where was Boehners brain? You should blame Boehner for showing up. You can't expect Hitler to miss such a great chance to humiliate the enemy. After all that's what Hitler was all about, right? Golf and Karl May, and Wagner. Ha

      October 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. HotTubDeathMachine

    Obama should chime in on this and say... "lighten up people, he wasn't comparing me to Hitler... you idiots"

    October 6, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Bemused

      Was kuemmerts die Eiche, wenn die Sau sich an ihr kratzt?
      German for: Why should the oak tree bother, when a dirty pig is scratching itself on the trunk?
      Why should the pres of the USA bother to chime in when white trash is throwing insults at him. afterall, they are white trash.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angeh

      Except when asked if he did it, he said "Yea!!!!" So, yea, he did. But he was probably drunk, soo....

      October 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lunchbreaker

    What's most troubling is he referred to Obama and Biden as the 3 stooges. M ybe espn recquires a minimum level of math skill.

    October 6, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. nick

    hank williams jr is white trash redneck, with the stupidest anolgy i have ever heard of. First off hitler tried to kill every jew on the planet. Obama is the president of the usa. What a piece of crap. Him and all his kind need to be put somewhere that no one could hear their stupid opinions

    October 6, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • gottabekidding

      Like your option is anything but one sided liberal trash... get a life!

      October 6, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Humongous

      WOW. Looks like a new liberal 'haters' thread!

      October 6, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Bemused

      @gottabedumb: you meant "it's his Opinion [not option] is nothing but 'liberal trash'... get a life?
      Hey, gottabe... get some education, and some manners, your momma would wash your mouth with soap... wait, she's probably got none in her trailer...

      October 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Byrd

    Johnny Paycheck in reverse. ESPN has told you to shove it, Hank: Where the sun don't shine.....

    October 6, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. Don

    Dumping that drunk is no major loss to MNF

    October 6, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. Don

    It's unfortunate that Hank made the comments, even more unfortunate that ESPN booted him from Monday Night Football.
    Too bad Hank is not a drug using, ex-felon football player.....he would still be singing his intro on Monday nights.

    October 6, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Jlsppw

      If you have such a high opinion of football players, quit watching football... Don't think anyone will miss you or Hank.

      October 6, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. demmie

    well, ESPN is owned by ABC and ABC is owned by teh administration so we know who ultimately made the decision

    October 6, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • luca

      smart comment dummie

      October 6, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Besmiled

      wait wait, isn't it the other way around, the administration is owned by corporate america?

      October 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. HotTubDeathMachine

    Maybe Hank can do a song for the NBA pre-season??...

    October 6, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jlsppw

    So which one is it Hank? Are you this great passionate "stand up 1st amendment man" or are you an apologetic celebrity sap? Cause after that sappy apology, in an attempt to keep that all mighty paycheck (like any true American) it sure sounds like you are a sap... At your age you ought to know by now...

    October 6, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. Alex

    since obama was elected, if you're black and racist, that's tolerated and generally encouraged via black art/media/books (especially note Dreams from my Father and most current 'black' music)...however, if you're not black and also politically opinionated, you're automatically a racist.

    October 6, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dennis

    He never compared Obama and Hitler...He just said how ridiculous it was for those 2 to be playing golf together. That was it!
    Come on people, Did you even see the interview?? Did you read the transcript?? I'll bet most of you didn't. Everybody's jumping on a band wagon for a comment that was twisted and taken out of context. The real issue here is ESPN was afraid someone would be offended! And we all know you can't offend anybody....What happened to free speech??

    October 6, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jlsppw

      Well Dennis... Don't know where you've been living the past 20 years or so but if you are in the spotlight in THIS country, you'd better be damn sure that your "context" is well versed & understood before you pop off your "1st Amendment" yap.

      October 6, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Angeh

      Well, when he was asked if he was making that comparison he said "Yea!!!" So yea, he did it....

      October 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jdog

    Hank was making a STOPPID analogy....not a comparison that Obama is like Hitler....but it was still stupid. People in the US with this kind of talk though need to be reined in, the "Obama is the anti-christ, the ENEMY" sort of BS is simply too much and there SHOULD be consequences for people who simply lack the intelligence to have INTELLIGENT dialogue and debate...your country is going down a fairly slippery slope with this form of language...and it does happen on both sides, dems and republican

    October 6, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jorge Sedano

    Lets not forget that the game that ESPN produces is sub par. It has been for years. The announcers are just some talking heads that just well..... talk....They memorize fact and spit out what they are told to say at each and every moment... This group on ESPN have no emotion or feeling for the game of football...Its just a way to get from one point to the next.

    October 6, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joenunya

    To be completely honest... the "controversy" about "Hank" ? WAY more interesting than the Colts – Bucks snooze fest for a game we got stuck with.

    October 6, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
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