Hank Jr. Tune Pulled From MNF

Not ready for football apparently

photo by Steve Johnson/Webster PR

UPDATE: Hank issued an apology on his website on Oct. 4.

For the first time in 20 years, Monday Night Football viewers did not hear Hank Williams Jr.'s trademark "Are You Ready for Some Football?" after ESPN pulled the song from the broadcast following remarks Hank Jr. made about President Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders.

In an appearance on Fox News' Fox and Friends Monday morning (Oct. 3), Hank Jr. referred to a June golf game with the President and House Speaker John Boehner on the same team, against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, as "one of the biggest political mistakes ever."

Asked what he didn't like about it, Hank Jr. said, "That'd be like [Adolf] Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu."

In a statement released Monday, ESPN said that while Hank 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."

Hank Jr. has released a statement regarding his comments: “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," he said in the statement, which was posted on his website. "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.”

ESPN did not indicate whether the intro, synonymous with Monday Night Football since 1989, would be used again.

The song "All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night" is a remixed version of his 1984 hit "All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight.”

UPDATEHank issued an apology on his website on Oct. 4.

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