Hank Williams Jr. Gone From MNF After 'Hitler' Comment
October 4, 2011 at 5:47 AM (PT)
For now, HANK WILLIAMS JR. will no longer open MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL broadcasts after ESPN pulled his intro from its broadcast after WILLIAMS used an analogy to ADOLF HITLER in discussing President BARACK OBAMA. ABC NEWS reports, "In an interview MONDAY morning on FOX NEWS' "FOX & FRIENDS," WILLIAMS, unprompted, said of OBAMA's outing on the links with House Speaker JOHN BOEHNER, 'It'd be like HITLER playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister BENJAMIN) NETANYAHU.' Asked to clarify, WILLIAMS said, 'They're the enemy,' adding that by 'they' he meant OBAMA and Vice President JOE BIDEN."
Anchor GRETCHEN CARLSON tried to get WILLIAMS to clarify, asking "You used the name of one of the most hated people in all of the world to describe, I think, the President." WILLIAMS answered, "Well, that is true. But I'm telling you like it is."
ESPN released this 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 responded through his publicist, saying: "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."