ESPN was extremely concerned about Hank Williams, Jr.’s comparison of President Barack Obama to Hitler and 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.
ESPN has not decided whether they will use their traditional Hank Williams, Jr. opening to the telecast in the future or not.
The controversy was fueled by Williams’ Monday morning appearance on ‘Fox and Friends’ where he was talking politics. In the interview, he referred to the golf game which paired President Obama and John Boehner. Williams was quoted as saying:
That would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. Not hardly. In the shape this country is in?
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Williams went on to say that he does have a favored 2012 candidate:
The one that makes the most sense is Herman Cain.
Since the uproar over Williams’ comment and cancellation of his opening theme on Monday Night Football last night, Williams has made a statement:
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 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.
Williams says he will be a Republican candidate for the Senate in Tennessee in 2012.
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