Hank Williams, Jr. And All His Rowdy Friends Got Canned By ESPN
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have undoubtedly heard about the inflammatory comments Hank Williams, Jr. made during an appearance on FOX and Friends last Monday where he compared President Obama to Hitler. That little gaffe resulted in ESPN pulling his intro from that night’s broadcast of Monday Night Football.
There have been comments from both sides — as well as a massive amount of commentary regarding whether it was right or wrong for ESPN to pull the intro — over the past few days regarding exactly what the future of Hank’s relationship with ESPN entailed, but now it’s official, sort of: ESPN says they fired the country crooner, but Hank Williams, Jr. said he told them to take this job and shove it. Who to believe?
ESPN made the announcement via a statement disseminated by John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal (by way of Pro Football Talk):
ESPN statement on Hank Williams, Jr.: “We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
But au contraire, says Hank Williams, Jr., who probably wouldn’t have used “au contraire” to contradict ESPN’s statement but something more along the lines of “nuh-uh!” Williams, Jr. made the following statement earlier Thursday morning on his website where he contends it was his decision alone to part ways:
AFTER ESPN SUSPENDS HANK JR. FOR ONE-WEEK, HANK JR. DECIDES TO PULL HIS SONG FROM BEING USED ON ESPN FOR REMAINDER OF SEASON!
“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.” — Hank Williams Jr
It sure has, Hank Williams, Jr., it sure has. Just as long as it was YOUR decision to pull the song for the REMAINDER OF THE SEASON EXCLAMATION POINT! But as stated above, who to believe? It’s like a he said-she said kind of conundrum where the “he” is a massive, calculating corporation deserving of no pity and the “she” is a lowbred country music singer whose career has been running on the fumes due to the publicity garnered from a ridiculous, overwrought theme song for a football game. It’s quite the conundrum.
But in the end, it is what it is: Hank Williams, Jr.’s annoying theme song for Monday Night Football is no more. Next up: somebody figure out a way to get Faith Hill canned. Her debacle of a theme song for Sunday Night Football might even be worse than Hank’s atrocity.
ESPN fires Hank, who claims he quit [Pro Football Talk]