ESPN sacks Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr. has been punted.
ESPN has dumped the country music contributor to “Monday Night Football” the week after he sounded off on President Barack Obama. Williams Jr. made reference to Adolf Hitler when talking about Obama and Vice President Joe Biden golfing with House Speaker John Boehner and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican.
Williams Jr. was not used for Monday night’s game, and the network made the decision to sack him for good.
“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr," ESPN said in a statement, according to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated. "We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue."
Williams Jr. has claimed the move was made by him on his Web site.
“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision," he wrote on his website. "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."
The familiar intro to “Monday Night Football” has been used since 1989.
The Chicago Bears play the Detroit Lions at Ford Field this coming Monday. It’s the first time the Lions have been on MNF in a decade.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune